Formiminoglutamic Acid (FIGlu)

Optimal Result: 0 - 1.5 mmol/mol creatinine.

Formiminoglutamic Acid (FIGlu) is an intermediary organic acid in the conversion of the amino acid histidine to glutamic acid. This enzymatic conversion requires tetrahydrofolic acid.


- Broquist HP, Luhby AL. Detection and isolation of formiminoglutamic acid from urine in folic acid deficiency in humans. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1959;100(2):349-354.

- Cooperman JM, Lopez R. The role of histidine in the anemia of folate deficiency. Exp Biol Med. 2002;227(11):998-1000.

- Rabinowitz JC, Tabor H. The urinary excretion of formic acid and formiminoglutamic acid in folic acid deficiency. J Biol Chem. 1958;233(1):252-255.

- Fish Mb, Pollycove M, Feichtmeir Tv. Differentiation between Vitamin B12—deficient and Folic Acid—deficient Megaloblastic Anemias with C14—Histidine. Blood. 1963;21(4):447-461.

- Shojania AM. Oral contraceptives: effect of folate and vitamin B12 metabolism. Can Med Assoc J. 1982;126(3):244-247.

- Sullivan LW, Herbert V. Suppression of hematopoiesis by ethanol. J Clin Invest. 1964;43(11):2048-2062.

- Metz J, Stevens K, Brandt V. Urinary formiminoglutamic acid in the megaloblastic anaemias associated with pregnancy and malnutrition. Br Med J. 1962;2(5317):1440.

- Rosenauerová-ostrá A, Hilgertová J, Šonka J. Urinary formiminoglutamate in man normal values related to sex and age. Effects of low calorie intake and alcohol consumption. Clin Chim Acta. 1976;73(1):39-43.

What does it mean if your Formiminoglutamic Acid (FIGlu) result is too high?

FIGlu elevations in urine have been used as a marker for folate deficiency dating back to the 1950’s.

In addition to folate deficiency, elevated urinary FIGlu may also reflect vitamin B12 status since folate recycling requires vitamin B12 as a cofactor and both are critical steps in the methylation cycle. There are multiple clinical associations with elevated urinary FIGlu, including acute and chronic alcohol use, pregnancy, and oral contraceptive use.

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