Thallium, Whole Blood
Ordering Recommendation

Useful as a biomarker of acute thallium exposure. For the assessment of chronic exposure, consider Thallium, Urine (0025019).

Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry
1-5 days
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
Submit With Order
ARUP Consult®
Disease Topics
Specimen Required
Patient Preparation
Diet, medication, and nutritional supplements may introduce interfering substances. Patients should be encouraged to discontinue nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, and non-essential over-the-counter medications (upon the advice of their physician). 
Royal Blue (K2EDTA or Na2EDTA). 
Specimen Preparation
Transport 7 mL whole blood in the original collection tube. (Min: 0.5 mL) 
Storage/Transport Temperature
Ambient. Also acceptable: Refrigerated. 
Unacceptable Conditions
Heparin anticoagulant. Hemolyzed specimens. 
Ambient: Indefinitely; Refrigerated: Indefinitely; Frozen: Unacceptable 
Reference Interval
Effective May 20, 2013
0.0-2 µg/L
Interpretive Data
Blood thallium levels reflect recent exposure as thallium has a biological half-life of approximately 2 to 4 days. Blood levels greater than 100 µg/L are considered toxic and greater than 300 µg/L indicate severe ingestion. After severe thallium poisonings, reported symptoms have varying times of onset and include gastroenteritis, multi-organ failure and neurologic injury. Peripheral neuropathy and alopecia are well-documented effects of acute and chronic exposure. Human health effects from low-level thallium exposure are unknown.

Compliance Statement B: For laboratory developed tests not using a RUO kit, and for FDA approved, cleared or 510(k) exempt assays with alterations. This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved or cleared this test; however, FDA clearance or approval is not currently required for clinical use. The results are not intended to be used as the sole means for clinical diagnosis or patient management decisions.

Elevated results from noncertified trace element-free collection tubes may be due to contamination.  Elevated concentrations 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 (K2EDTA) or (Na2EDTA) tube. If the specimen is drawn and stored in the appropriate container, the trace element values do not change with time.
Hotline History
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Component Test Code*Component Chart NameLOINC
0099610Thallium, Blood5743-0
* Component test codes cannot be used to order tests. The information provided here is not sufficient for interface builds; for a complete test mix, please click the sidebar link to access the Interface Map.
  • Tl
  • TLB
  • WB thallium