Selenium, Serum or Plasma
Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry
New York DOH Approval Status
This test is New York DOH approved.
- 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 (no additive) or Royal Blue (EDTA)
- Specimen Preparation
- Centrifuge; do not allow serum or plasma to remain on cells. Transfer 2 mL serum or plasma to an ARUP Trace Element-Free Transport Tube (ARUP supply #43116). Available online through eSupply using ARUP Connect™ or contact ARUP Client Services at (800) 522-2787. (Min: 0.5 mL)
- Storage/Transport Temperature
- Room temperature. Also acceptable: Refrigerated or frozen.
- Unacceptable Conditions
- Separator tubes. Specimens that are not separated from the red cells or clot within 6 hours.
- If the specimen is drawn and stored in the appropriate container, the trace element values do not change with time.
Serum selenium levels can be used in the determination of deficiency or toxicity. Plasma and serum contains 75 percent of the selenium measured in whole blood and reflects recent dietary intake. Selenium deficiency can occur endemically or as a result of sustained TPN or restricted diets and has been associated with cardiomyopathy and may exacerbate hypothyroidism. Selenium toxicity is relatively rare. Excess intake of selenium can result in symptoms consistent with selenosis and include gastrointestinal upset, hair loss, white blotchy nails, and mild nerve damage.
Elevated results from noncertified trace element-free tubes may be due to contamination. Elevated concentrations of trace elements in serum should be confirmed with a second specimen collected in a trace element-free tube, such as royal blue sterile tube (no additive).
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