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Methodology: Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometry (ICP/MS)
Edit Date: 8/6/2009
Performed: Monday-Saturday
Released: 24-72 hours after setup at PeaceHealth Laboratories’ reference lab
CPT Code: 82175-90
Specimen Collection Details
Collection: One 6 mL royal blue top tube trace-element K2 (EDTA).
Handling: Submit whole blood in original tube.
Stability: If the specimen is collected and stored in the appropriate container, the trace element values do not change with time.
Standard Volume: 6 mL EDTA whole blood.
Minimum Volume: 0.5 mL EDTA whole blood.
Transport: Ambient.
Rejection Criteria: Heparin anticoagulant.

Reference Range:
Arsenic combines readily with proteins because of its great affinity for sulfhydryl groups. The affinity of arsenics for tissue proteins is responsible for the rapid removal of arsenic from the blood. Arsenic becomes “normal” within 6-10 hours after exposure, so serum arsenic is not a good specimen for screening purposes. Periodic serum levels can be determined to follow the effectiveness of therapy.

This test is useful detection of acute arsenic exposure, and following the effectiveness of therapy. Absorbed arsenic is rapidly circulated and distributed into tissue storage sites. the body treats arsenic like phosphate, incorporating it wherever phosphate would be incorporated. Arsenic “disappears” into the normal body pool of phosphate and is excreted at the same rate as phosphate (excretion half-life of 12 days). The serum half-life of arsenic is less than 1 hour. Unless a serum specimen is collected within 5 hours of exposure, the arsenic in serum is not likely to be detected. This test is useful only during an acute event, when the arsenic is likely to be greater than 6 ng/mL for a short period of time. Measurement of urine arsenic is the preferred method of screening for arsenic exposure. Measurement of serum arsenic is, therefore, not a good screening tool, but can be used to document the time and level of acute exposure.

0.0 – 13.0 µg/L
Interpretive Data:
Potentially toxic ranges for blood arsenic: ≥ 600 µg/L
Blood arsenic is for the detection of recent exposure poisoning only. Blood arsenic levels in healthy subjects vary considerably with exposure to aresenic in the diet and the environment.
A 24-hour urine arsenic is useful for the detection of chronic exposure.
Elevated results from non-certified trace element-free collection tubes may be due to contamination.
Elevated concentratons of trace elements in blood should be confirmed with a second specimen collected in a tube designed for trace element determinations, such as a royal blue Na2 EDTA tube.