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Category Biochemistry >> Trace elements
Test background

Trace elements can be essential or toxic. Trace element toxicity can occur as a result of occupational exposure, environmental exposure or iatrogenic toxicity. Any organ can be affected: the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, muscles or circulatory system. All elements can be toxic in excess. Those most commonly associated with toxicity include: aluminium, lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and thallium.

Clinical Indications

Arsenic poisoning is generally caused by ingestion and can lead to the onset of gastrointestinal pain, vomiting, shock, diarrhoea, neuropathy and renal failure. Ingestion of seafoods (fish, shellfish, seaweed) will cause an increase in blood and urine arsenic due to the presence of non-toxic organic forms of arsenic compounds. These foods should be excluded from the diet for several days before sampling.

Reference range

See Report

Sample & container required Whole Blood: EDTA Trace element tube (royal blue cap), EDTA (lavender top) or heparin (green top). Urine: universal container for random sample or 24 hour collection
Sample volume 0.5 mL
Transport storage Stable at 2-8oC. Sample can be sent by first class post.
Turnaround time 2 weeks