Quantitative Atomic Absorption/Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry
This test is New York DOH approved.
- Patient Preparation
- Diet, medication, and nutritional supplements may introduce interfering substances. Patient should be encouraged to discontinue nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, and non-essential over-the-counter medications (upon the advice of their physician), and avoid shellfish and seafood for 48 to 72 hours.
- Royal blue (K2EDTA or Na2EDTA).
- Specimen Preparation
- Transport 7 mL whole blood in the original collection tube. (Min: 1 mL)
- Storage/Transport Temperature
- Room temperature. Also acceptable: Refrigerated.
- Unacceptable Conditions
- Heparin anticoagulant. Frozen specimens.
- Mercury is volatile; concentration may reduce after seven or more days of storage.
Blood mercury levels predominantly reflect recent exposure and are most useful in the diagnosis of acute poisoning as blood mercury concentrations rise sharply and fall quickly over several days after ingestion. Blood concentrations in unexposed individuals rarely exceed 20 µg/L. The provided reference interval relates to inorganic mercury concentrations. Dietary and non-occupational exposure to organic mercury forms may contribute to an elevated total mercury result. Clinical presentation after toxic exposure to organic mercury may include dysarthria, ataxia and constricted vision fields with mercury blood concentrations from 20 to 50 µg/L.
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 (Na2EDTA) tube.
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