Ordering Recommendation

May be useful for exposure monitoring or investigation. Copper concentrations in red blood cells (RBCs) reflect the intracellular stores and general homeostasis of copper. For clinical assessment of copper deficiency or toxicity, refer to Copper, Serum or Plasma (0020096).

New York DOH Approval Status

This test is New York state approved.

Specimen Required

Patient Preparation

Royal blue (K2EDTA) or royal blue (NaHep).

Specimen Preparation

Centrifuge whole blood and separate RBCs from plasma within 2 hours of collection. Submit packed RBCs in original collection tube OR transfer 2 mL RBCs 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: 0.6 mL)

Storage/Transport Temperature

Room temperature. Also acceptable: Refrigerated.

Unacceptable Conditions

Specimens collected in tubes other than royal blue (K2EDTA) or royal blue (NaHep). Specimens transported in containers other than royal blue (K2EDTA) or royal blue (NaHep) tube or trace element-free transport tube. Clotted or grossly hemolyzed specimens.


After separation from plasma: Ambient: 2 weeks; Refrigerated: 2 weeks; Frozen: Unacceptable


Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry




1-4 days

Reference Interval

59.0-91.0 mcg/dL

Interpretive Data

Copper concentrations in RBCs reflect the intracellular stores and general homeostasis of Copper. Results may be falsely elevated if RBCs in the submitted specimen are lysed or not promptly separated from plasma.

Compliance Category

Laboratory Developed Test (LDT)


Hotline History


CPT Codes



Component Test Code* Component Chart Name LOINC
3003757 Copper, RBCs 5630-9
* 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.


  • Cu RBCs
  • Intracellular Copper
Copper, Red Blood Cells