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, thallium, barium, germanium, tellurium, tin, antimony, osmium, uranium.
Clinical Indications Raised in chronic renal failure and parenteral feeding. Patients on total parenteral nutrition, especially those with renal failure, should be monitored regularly.
Guidance notes on Al exposure in dialysis patients are available from the laboratory.
Chronic toxicity can cause bone disease, neurological defects and anaemia.
Reference Range <0.3 μmol/L (including plasma, water and dialysate)
Sample Required Trace element free (royal blue top)
Sample Volume 0.5 mL
Turnaround Time 2 weeks
Notes Guidance levels:
<0.3 μmol/L – no significant aluminium exposure
0.3-2 μmol/L – increased aluminium concentration but low toxic hazard
2-3.5 μmol/L – significant aluminium accumulation with risk of toxicity
>3.5 μmol/L – significant risk of toxicity
>7 μmol/L – danger level – severe toxicity probable