Imperial Collage Healthcare

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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, and thallium.

Note, this test is not currently UKAS accredited

Clinical Indications

Bismuth is commonly found in medical products and in rare cases iatrogenic toxicity can occur.  Examples include bismuth salts in antacids and bismuth iodoform paraffin paste used in surgical packing and dressings.  

Symptoms of toxicity are largely neurological: confusion, tremor, clumsiness, myoclonic jerks and gait disturbances.

AKI has also been reported.

Reference Range
See Report.

Sample Required
Whole Blood: EDTA Trace element tube (Royal blue cap), EDTA (lavender top) or heparin (green top) Urine: sterile universal

Sample Volume
0.5 mL


Stable at 2-8oC.

Sample can be sent by first class post.

Turnaround Time
2 weeks

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