Lab Test

Salicylate Level

Aspirin, Salicylate Level, Serum

Test Codes

Antrim #15980, EPIC: LAB5415, SALIC



Specimen Collection Criteria

Collect: One plain Red-top tube. (Minimum Whole Blood: 1.0 mL)

Do not use Serum Separator Tubes.
Record the exact time of specimen collection on the tube or in the computer system.

Physician Office/Draw Specimen Preparation

Let specimens clot 30-60 minutes and refrigerate (2-8°C or 36-46°F) the collection tube within two hours of collection. (Minimum: 1.0 mL blood)

Preparation for Courier Transport

Transport: Collection tube, refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F). (Minimum: 1.0 mL blood)

Rejection Criteria

  • Serum Separator (SST) tubes.
  • Severely lipemic or hemolyzed specimens.

In-Lab Processing

Let specimens clot 30-60 minutes. Centrifuge specimen to separate serum from cells. Deliver an aliquot of serum or the collection tube immediately to the appropriate testing station.


Specimen Stability for Testing:

Collection Tubes
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 24 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): Unacceptable

Serum Specimens (Pour-Overs)
Room Temperature (20-26°C or 68-78.8°F): 24 hours
Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days
Frozen (-20°C/-4°F or below): 3 months

Specimen Storage in Department Prior to Disposal:

Refrigerated (2-8°C or 36-46°F): 7 days


Canton Laboratory
Dearborn Chemistry Laboratory
Farmington Hills Chemistry Laboratory
Grosse Pointe Chemistry Laboratory
Lenox Main Laboratory
Livonia Main Laboratory
Royal Oak STAT Laboratory
Taylor Chemistry Laboratory
Trenton Chemistry Laboratory
Troy Chemistry Laboratory
Wayne Chemistry Laboratory 


Sunday – Saturday, 24 hours a day.
STAT results available within 1 hour of receipt in the Laboratory.
Routine results available within 24 hours.

Reference Range

Therapeutic Range: 0-25 mg/dL.
Critical Range: Greater than 30 mg/dL.

Test Methodology



Chronic low dose salicylate dosing results in a therapeutic level of approximately 6 mg/dL and monitoring is not required. In rheumatoid arthritis therapy, large doses of salicylate are administered and monitoring serum levels is desirable to maintain a therapeutic range of 15-30 mg/dL.

Clinical Utility

The salicylate assay aids in the diagnosis and treatment of salicylate overdose and in monitoring salicylate levels to insure appropriate therapy. Salicylates are a group of compounds used as analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatory agents. Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is the most commonly used salicylate. Salicylates are readily available over-the-counter and most salicylate therapy is the result of patient self-medication. For this reason, salicylates are often seen in overdose cases. Salicylate poisoning is seldom fatal, but causes side effects ranging from nausea, vomiting and tinnitus to fever, lethargy and coma. Prompt recognition and management are necessary to avoid serious consequences.

CPT Codes

80329 (alternate: G0480).
LOINC: 4024-6


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