Lab Test

Arsenic Level, Blood

ARUP #99045, Antrim #82390, EPIC: LAB5945, SOFT: XARSN

Test Codes

ARUP #99045, Antrim #82390, EPIC: LAB5945, SOFT: XARSN


Diet, medication, and nutritional supplements may introduce interfering substances. Patient should be encouraged to discontinue nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, and non-essential over-the-counter medications (upon the advice of their physician) and avoid shellfish and seafood for 48 to 72 hours.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Royal Blue-top EDTA tube.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Do not centrifuge. Maintain whole blood at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) prior to transport.

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: 7.0 mL whole blood, at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F). (Minimum: 0.5 mL)

Rejection Criteria

  • Frozen specimens.
  • Specimens not collected and processed as indicated.

In-Lab Processing

Do not centrifuge. Maintain whole blood at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F) prior to transport.

Transport: 7.0 mL whole blood, at room temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F). (Minimum: 0.5 mL) 


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): Indefinite
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): Indefinite
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Specimen retention time is determined by the policy of the reference laboratory. Contact the Sendout Laboratory with any questions.


Sent to ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT.


Sunday – Saturday.
Results available within 2-4 days.

Reference Range

0-12 mcg/L.

Potentially toxic ranges for blood arsenic greater than or equal to 600 mcg/L.

Test Methodology

Quantitative Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry.


Blood arsenic is for the detection of recent exposure only. Blood arsenic levels in healthy subjects vary considerably with exposure to arsenic in the diet and the environment. A 24 hour urine arsenic is useful for the detection of chronic exposure.

Elevated results from non-certified trace element-free collection tubes may be due to contamination. Elevated concentrations of trace elements in blood should be confirmed with a second specimen collected in a tube designed for trace element determinations, such as a Royal Blue Na2EDTA tube.

Clinical Utility

This assay is useful in the diagnosis of arsenic toxicity. Many industries use arsenic in the production of pesticides, preservatives, metal alloys, glasses, enamels, semiconductors, etc. Inhalation of contaminated air and ingestion of arsenic-containing foods and beverages are the main routes of arsenic uptake. Workers that are at risk for arsenic exposure are required to be monitored by their employer. Arsenic intoxication is rare, except in suicides or accidents.

Acute arsenic intoxication results in multisystem damage including hepatic toxicity, electrocardiographic changes, rhabdomyolysis, pulmonary edema, encephalopathy, renal dysfunction, and bone marrow toxicity. Polyneuropathy is often a prominent sign of toxicity. Patients with chronic exposure will usually present with cutaneous changes (e.g., hyperkeratosis, hyperpigmentation, alopecia, squamous cell carcinoma), and hepatic disease (e.g., cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma).

CPT Codes



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