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Category Biochemistry >> Trace elements
Test background

Copper is an essential trace element. It is required for ferro-oxidase activity which is an essential stage for incorporation of iron into haem. Copper is absorbed in the intestines and then transported to the liver, where it is stored or used in the production of a variety of enzymes. Caeruloplasmin is a copper-containing enzyme that plays a role in the body’s iron metabolism. In the blood, 95 % is bound to caeruloplasmin and 5 % is free. It is used in conjunction with serum copper assay to help diagnose Wilson’s disease and evaluate copper metabolism.

Clinical Indications

Decreased serum copper and caeruloplasmin, plus an elevated urinary copper, are closely associated with Wilson’s disease. Symptoms include: anaemia, nausea with abdominal pain, jaundice, dysphagia, tremors, behavioural changes, Kayser-Fleischer rings and tremors.

Reference range


Adult 0.20-0.40 g/L
Less than four months 0.08-0.23 g/L
4 to 12 months 0.12-0.35 g/L
1 to 10 years 0.20-0.40 g/L
10 to 13 years 0.15-0.23 g/L
Sample & container required Serum (red top) or SST (gold top)
Sample volume 1 mL
Turnaround time 1 week