Metals: Copper




Chemical Pathology - Routine Laboratory

Clinical indications

Acquired copper deficiency is rare and may occur in infants born prematurely (most copper is accumulated in the last trimester of pregnancy), malnutrition, severe enteropathies and in cases of long term total parenteral nutrition. Manifestations of copper deficiency include leucopoenia and anaemia (due to a reduced active component of caeruloplasmin termed Feroxidase I). There are other clinical situations, particularly those that interfere with intra and extra hepatic bile fever, which will lead to the accumulation of copper in the liver. In chronic cholestastic conditions (e.g. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis) this can be quite marked and may even be greater than that seen in Wilson's Disease. However, unlike Wilson's Disease, caeruloplasmin levels are normal

Specimen requirement

0.4ml Lithium Heparin plasma

Dispatch and handling instructions

Separate plasma ASAP

Turnaround time

1 to 2 weeks


Not applicable

Is it IS0 15189 accredited?