Ordering Recommendation

Useful in the assessment of deficiency or overload. Measures both protein-bound and free forms of copper in serum or plasma.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

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 (No Additive), Royal blue (K2EDTA), or Royal blue (NaHep).

Specimen Preparation

Separate from cells ASAP or within 2 hours of collection. 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

Specimens that are not separated from the red cells or clot within 2 hours. Specimens collected in containers other than specified. Specimens transported in containers other than specified.


Ambient: Indefinitely; Refrigerated: Indefinitely; Frozen: Indefinitely


Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry




1-3 days

Reference Interval

0-10 years 75.0-153.0 µg/dL 75.0-153.0 µg/dL
11 years-12 years 64.0-132.0 µg/dL 64.0-132.0 µg/dL
13 years-18 years 57.0-129.0 µg/dL 57.0-129.0 µg/dL
19 years and older 70.0-140.0 µg/dL 80.0-155.0 µg/dL

Interpretive Data

Elevated results may be due to skin or collection-related contamination, including the use of a noncertified metal-free collection/transport tube. If contamination concerns exist due to elevated levels of serum/plasma copper, confirmation with a second specimen collected in a certified metal-free tube is recommended.

Serum copper may be elevated with infection, inflammation, stress, and copper supplementation. In females, elevated copper may also be caused by oral contraceptives and pregnancy (concentrations may be elevated up to 3 times normal during the third trimester).

Serum copper may be reduced by use of corticosteroids and zinc and by malnutrition or malabsorption.

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by ARUP Laboratories. It has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. This test was performed in a CLIA certified laboratory and is intended for clinical purposes.

Compliance Category

Laboratory Developed Test (LDT)


Hotline History


CPT Codes



Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
0020096 Copper, Serum/Plasma 5631-7
* 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.


  • Copper Plasma
  • Cu
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  • total blood copper level
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Copper, Serum or Plasma