Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Zinc,Tissue

Test Name: Zinc,Tissue
Alternate Name(s):  
Laboratory: Trace Elements
Specimen Type: Fresh or frozen tissue is acceptable

Minimum of 0.3 mg of fresh or frozen tissue.

Be careful not to contaminate the sample.

Needle biopsies are also acceptable in formalin.

*If fixed in formalin, please send an extra tube of formalin.
Test Schedule: Batched analysis
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
10 days
Reference Range: Liver:
1.22-5.36 µmol/g

** Reference range is tissue dependent.
Effective Date:  
Revised Date: 2013-06-03
Critical Value:  
Interpretive Comments: Zinc Deficiency:

Deficiency causes failure to grow, skin rashes, impaired cell mediated immunity, failure of sexual maturation, taste abnormalities, abnormalities of fetal development, poor wound healing, and impaired vitamin A metabolism.

In zinc deficiency a reduction in plasma zinc levels reflects a loss of zinc from the bone and liver, with a consequent increase in the risk for development of metabolic and clinical signs of zinc deficiency. Alkaline phosphatase levels also decrease. Growth retardation is often the first sign of zinc deficiency.

Apart from zinc deficiency, plasma zinc levels decrease after meals and during acute infections. They are also associated with liver disease, malignant tumours, pernicious anaemia or short term fasting. Plasma zinc levels are also lower in late pregnancy. The drop in plasma zinc in these conditions (except fasting) is caused by redistribution to other tissues in response to metabolic need.

Acrodermatitis enteropathica is a genetic disorder of zinc metabolism that manifests as zinc deficiency, with retarded growth, hypogonadism, gastrointestinal disturbances and skin lesions. It appears in early infancy but with oral zinc therapy a total recovery occurs.

Industrial exposure:

Zinc is used in galvanising iron and steel, and as an alloy of brass and bronze. Inhalation of zinc oxide fumes produced during welding can cause metal fume fever characterised by nausea, headaches, muscular and joint pain, shortness of breath, thirst and a cough. These symptoms develop 4-12 hours after exposure and last for 1-2 days. Zinc chloride fumes, which are highly corrosive to skin, eyes and mucous membranes, are produced from welding flux, wood preservatives and the manufacture of high quality paper, dyes and deodorants. It is also used in smoke screens.
Special Processing:  
Comments: Reference Ranges are based on Non-Occupationally exposed population.
Method of Analysis: High Resolution Sector Field Inductively Coupled Mass Spectrometry
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment:  
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

Questions? Comments? Contact Laura Gopaul