Newcastle Laboratories

Arsenic, blood

Clinical Background:

Although there are substantial differences in the toxicities of different arsenic compounds, acute exposure usually causes abdominal pain, weakness, trembling, increased salivation, jaundice, diarr...

Although there are substantial differences in the toxicities of different arsenic compounds, acute exposure usually causes abdominal pain, weakness, trembling, increased salivation, jaundice, diarrhea and vomiting. Long term exposure to smaller amounts causes similar symptoms in a milder form which, of course, resemble those of many chronic diseases.

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Test Details

  • Discipline:

    Biochemistry

    Biochemistry

  • Specimen Container Adult:

    Whole blood-EDTA

    Whole blood-EDTA

  • Specimen Container Paediatric:

    Whole blood-EDTA

    Whole blood-EDTA

  • Minimum Volume Adult:

    5 mL blood

    5 mL blood

  • Minimum Volume Paediatric:

    5 mL blood

    5 mL blood

  • Special Requirement:

    NB: Urine is sample of choice

    NB: Urine is sample of choice

  • Interpretation:

    Symptoms of arsenic poisoning begin with headaches, confusion, severe diarrhea, and drowsiness. As the poisoning develops, convulsions and changes in fingernail pigmentation called leukonychia stri...

    Symptoms of arsenic poisoning begin with headaches, confusion, severe diarrhea, and drowsiness. As the poisoning develops, convulsions and changes in fingernail pigmentation called leukonychia striata, Mees' lines, or Aldrich-Mees' lines may occur. When the poisoning becomes acute, symptoms may include diarrhea, vomiting, blood in the urine, cramping muscles, hair loss, stomach pain, and more convulsions. The organs of the body that are usually affected by arsenic poisoning are the lungs, skin, kidneys, and liver. The final result of arsenic poisoning is coma and death.

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  • Reference Ranges:

    Provided on report from referral laboratory.

    Provided on report from referral laboratory.

  • Factors Affecting Result:

    For arsenic analysis, diet must be free of seafood for 5 days.

    For arsenic analysis, diet must be free of seafood for 5 days.

  • Routine Contact Name:

    Duty Biochemist

  • Routine Telephone:

    Freeman: 0191 244 8889
    RVI: 0191 282 9719

    Freeman: 0191 244 8889
    RVI: 0191 282 9719

  • Routine Email:

    - For external users: TNU-Tr.duty.biochemist@nhs.net

    - For Trust users: DutyBiochemist@nuth.nhs.uk

  • Specialist Test:

    Yes

    Yes

Availability:

Referred to an external laboratory for analysis.

Turn Around:

Urgent: within 1 hour; non-urgent: within 1 day

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