Newcastle Laboratories

Zinc, Zn

Clinical Background:

Zinc is an essential trace element and a cofactor for over 300 enzymes, involved in energy and nucleic acid metabolism, immune function, wound healing and tissue repair. Body zinc status is assesse...

Zinc is an essential trace element and a cofactor for over 300 enzymes, involved in energy and nucleic acid metabolism, immune function, wound healing and tissue repair. Body zinc status is assessed by measurement of zinc in serum, which is useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of zinc deficiency and excess. Several factors can affect serum zinc concentration, independent of zinc status, including serum albumin, diurnal variation, and time of sampling in relation to meals. Zinc is a negative acute phase reactant; serum zinc should be measured two weeks after the acute phase has resolved.

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Test Details

  • Discipline:

    Biochemistry

    Biochemistry

  • Specimen Container Adult:

    Serum trace element tube

    Navy blue top with red-striped label

    Available on request from Blood Sciences reception at both Freeman and RVI sites

    Serum trace element tube

    Navy blue top with red-striped label

    Available on request from Blood Sciences reception at both Freeman and RVI sites

  • Specimen Container Paediatric:

    Serum trace element tube; Navy blue top with red-striped label - preferred sample

    White top plain tube (glass)

    Serum trace element tube; Navy blue top with red-striped label - preferred sample

    White top plain tube (glass)

  • Minimum Volume Adult:

    1 mL blood

    1 mL blood

  • Minimum Volume Paediatric:

    1 mL blood

    1 mL blood

  • Special Requirement:

    Grossly haemolysed samples are unsuitable for analysis.

    Transport to laboratory immediately for rapid separation of serum from red blood cells. 

    Grossly haemolysed samples are unsuitable for analysis.

    Transport to laboratory immediately for rapid separation of serum from red blood cells. 

  • Sample Stability:

    After separation from red cells, serum is stable for one month when stored at 4°C.

    Samples may be stored indefinitely at -20°C.

    After separation from red cells, serum is stable for one month when stored at 4°C.

    Samples may be stored indefinitely at -20°C.

  • Transport Requirements:

    Ambient temperature.

    Ambient temperature.

  • Freq Analysis:

    Assay performed weekly.

    Assay performed weekly.

  • Quality Assurance:

    Trace Element Quality Assurance Scheme (TEQAS) for Trace Elements

    Trace Element Quality Assurance Scheme (TEQAS) for Trace Elements

  • Interpretation:

    Low serum zinc:
    Inadequate dietary intake/parenteral nutrition
    High levels of copper or iron in the diet (interfere with zinc absorption)
    Loss via open wounds/burns, gastrointestinal tract
    Crohn's ...

    Low serum zinc:
    Inadequate dietary intake/parenteral nutrition
    High levels of copper or iron in the diet (interfere with zinc absorption)
    Loss via open wounds/burns, gastrointestinal tract
    Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, regional enteritis, sprue, intestinal bypass, malignancy, and increased catabolism by anabolic steroids
    Anorexia and starvation

    High serum zinc:
    Megadoses of supplements
    Not usually of clinical concern

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  • Reference Ranges:

      Age

    Zinc (µmol/L)

      <6 months

    5.0 – 21.5

      6 months to18 years

    9.8 – 19.0

      19 years to 64 years (female)

    9.6 – 20.5

      19 years to 64 years (male)

    10.1 – 20.2

      ...

      Age

    Zinc (µmol/L)

      <6 months

    5.0 – 21.5

      6 months to18 years

    9.8 – 19.0

      19 years to 64 years (female)

    9.6 – 20.5

      19 years to 64 years (male)

    10.1 – 20.2

      >64 years (female)

    9.2 – 19.2

      >64 years (male)

    8.0 – 20.0

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  • Factors Affecting Result:

    Haemolysis ++
    Heparin may contain zinc.
    EDTA leaches zinc from rbc into plasma.
    Rubber stoppers/caps release significant amounts of zinc.
    Gel separation systems release zinc.

    Haemolysis ++
    Heparin may contain zinc.
    EDTA leaches zinc from rbc into plasma.
    Rubber stoppers/caps release significant amounts of zinc.
    Gel separation systems release zinc.

  • Other Info:

    Assay performed by ICP-MS in collision mode.

    Assay performed by ICP-MS in collision mode.

  • 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:

  • Specialist Test:

    Yes

    Yes

Availability:

Available during full access hours. Assayed as service demands
Site of analysis: Freeman

Turn Around:

1 week

Send To:

Department of Blood Sciences

Freeman Hospital
Freeman Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE7 7DN

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