Zinc

Keywords: Zn

Specimen:

5 mL blood in lithium heparin or plain tube.

Zinc-free containers should be used.

Haemolysed specimens are unsuitable.

Method:

Atomic absorption spectrophotometry

Reference Interval:

12-20 µmol/L. Diurnal variation occurs.

Application:

Zinc toxicity.

Deficiency may occur in patients on parenteral nutrition, with burns, vomiting, malabsorption or gastrointestinal fistula losses, and in acrodermatitis enteropathica.

Interpretation:

Plasma zinc levels do not reliably reflect body zinc stores.

Patients taking oral contraceptives may have borderline to slightly reduced zinc levels.

Reference:

Prasad AS. Annu Rev Nutr 1985; 5: 341-363.

Tapiero H and Tew KD. Biomed Pharmacother 2003; 57(9): 399-411.