Laboratory Test Information Guide

Details for Lithium,Serum

Test Name: Lithium,Serum
Alternate Name(s): Li
Laboratory: Core (VH)
Specimen Type: 5 mL Gold top Vacutainer tube


0-2 years: 0.5 mL Red Microtainer
2-10 years: 2 mL Red top Vacutainer tube
Collection Information: Collect blood aseptically in a Vacutainer tube.
Test Schedule: As required
Turnaround time from when specimen
is received in testing laboratory:
4 hours
1 hour
Reference Range: 0.60-1.20 mmol/L

Effective Date: 2008-11-15
Revised Date: 2019-04-01
Critical Value: Toxic: >1.5 mmol/L - CRITICAL VALUE to be phoned to Nurse or Physician immediately:
Interpretive Comments: Indicated in management of acute manic episodes in patients with bipolar affective disorders. A 12 hr. level of >1.4 mmol/L should be cautiously regarded as serious and repeated measurements should be obtained to affirm or rule out impending lithium intoxication.
Special Processing:  
Comments: The light metal, lithium, was discovered in mineral compounds, by August Arfvedson in 1817 and electrolyticly purified by Sir Humphrey Davy (also, independently by Brandé) in 1818. Lithium alters the intraneuronal metabolism of catecholamines by an unknown mechanism. It is used to suppress the manic phase of manic depressive psychosis. Toxicity from Lithium salts leads to ataxia, slurred speech and confusion.
Method of Analysis: Spectrophotometric method
Critical Information Required:  
Storage & Shipment:  
System Codes: 
Referred To:  

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