Imperial Collage Healthcare

Copper


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

Iatrogenic deficiency (eg. total parenteral nutrition, excess zinc replacement, bariatric surgery)

Inborn errors (eg. Wilson’s and Menkes diseases). Decreased serum copper and caeruloplasmin, plus an elevated urinary copper are seen in Wilson’s disease.

Monitoring of chelation therapy for treatment of Wilson’s disease and/or copper overload

Symptoms including: anaemia, nausea with abdominal pain, jaundice, dysphagia, tremors, behavioural changes, Kayser-Fleischer rings and tremors


Reference Range
See Report


Sample Required
Serum: Trace element free (royal blue top) preferred; plain serum (red top) or SST (gold top) accepted. Plasma: Li-Hep accepted but trace element serum preferred. Urine: sterile universal or plain 24 hr collection


Sample Volume
0.5 mL


Turnaround Time
1 week


Notes

Copper absorption is blocked by zinc. Patients on long-term zinc replacement may suffer from copper deficiency.


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