Imperial Collage Healthcare

Cobalt


Test Background
High concentrations of cobalt in blood or serum are associated with increased wear of artificial hip joints and may contribute to an indication for revision of the procedure. The MHRA has advised that a concentration of >119 nmol/L is an indication of excessive wear in a metal-on-metal hip implant.


Clinical Indications

Predominantly used for assessing wear of artificial hip joints. High concentrations of cobalt and in blood or serum are associated with increased wear of artificial hip joints and may contribute to an indication for revision of the procedure.


Reference Range

See Report


Sample Required
Whole Blood: EDTA Trace element tube (Royal blue cap), EDTA (lavender top) or heparin (green top). Serum: Trace element tube preferred (royal blue top), plain serum (red top) or SST (yellow top). Plasma: Li-Hep tube with or without gel separator


Sample Container

Urine:  sterile universal or plain 24hr


Sample Volume
0.5 mL


Transport/Storage

Stable at 2-8oC.

Sample can be sent by first class post.


Turnaround Time
2 weeks


Notes

Expected blood Cobalt concentrations with well-functioning hips: (median concentration)

Metal-on plastic: Cobalt 10 nmol/L

Unilateral metal-on-metal: Cobalt 30 nmol/L

Bilateral metal-on-metal: Cobalt 45 nmol/L

MHRA Action level of 7ppb is equivalent to 119 nmol/L Co.

Grossly haemolysed plasma or serum samples are unsuitable for this assay.


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