Lab Test

Arsenic Level, Blood

Test Codes

EPIC: LAB5945, Beaker: XARSN, Mayo: ASB


Send Outs


High concentrations of gadolinium and iodine are known to interfere with most metal tests. If either gadolinium- or iodine-containing contrast media has been administered, a specimen should not be collected for 96 hours.

Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One Royal Blue-top EDTA tube.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

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

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: 6.0 mL whole blood, at refrigerated temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F). (Minimum: 0.3 mL)

Rejection Criteria

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: 6.0 mL whole blood, at refrigerated temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F). (Minimum: 0.3 mL)


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 28 days
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 28 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 28 days

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

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


Sent to Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester, MN.


Monday – Saturday.
Results available within 1-2 days.

Reference Range

By report.

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

LOINC:  5583-0, 21074-0, Inorganic 12481-8, Organic 53778-7, Total 5586-3


Last Updated


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