Ordering Recommendation

May be useful when related serum or urine assessments are inconclusive.

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Liver tissue obtained with an 18 gauge needle.

Specimen Preparation

Transport at least a 1 cm long specimen. Tissue can be fresh, paraffin-embedded, or dried. Also acceptable: Formalin-fixed. Specimens other than paraffin-embedded should be stored and transported in a metal-free container such as a royal blue (no additive).

Storage/Transport Temperature


Unacceptable Conditions

Specimens less than 0.25 mg (dry weight). Paraffin blocks that have been processed with Hollandes or other copper-containing stain.


Paraffin block, preserved (formalin), or dried: Ambient: Indefinitely; Refrigerated: Indefinitely; Frozen: Indefinitely
Fresh tissue: Ambient: Unacceptable; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: Indefinitely


Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS)




3-10 days

Reference Interval

15-55 µg/g of tissue.

Interpretive Data

Hepatic copper concentrations approach or exceed 250 µg/g in untreated Wilson disease. Elevated hepatic copper is also seen with chronic biliary obstruction and cholestatic conditions. Results inconsistent with other findings may reflect heterogeneity in hepatic copper distribution.

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
0020695 Tissue Weight 29638-4
0020697 Hepatic Copper Concentration by Weight 56126-6
2004962 EER Copper, Liver 11526-1
* 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 Tissue
  • Cu
  • Hepatic Copper Concentration
  • Metals, Tissue
  • Quantitative Copper, Tissue
Copper, Liver