Serum and Urine Copper – Contamination and Stability

Open access


Pre-analytical factors of variation need to be carefully considered and investigated in efforts to harmonize all aspects of the total testing process. This study aimed to evaluate contamination and stability in copper (Cu) analysis of serum and urine by flame atomic absorption spectroscopy (FAAS) and to compare the stability of urine Cu in controls and in D-penicillamine (D-PA) administration. Cu was measured by AAnalyst 400, Perkin Elmer, USA. Blood was collected in BD Vacutainer®SSTTM II Advance tubes and BD Vacutainer® Trace Element tubes. Sterile polyethylene and polypropylene vessels for collection, transportation, storage and preliminary preparation of samples were used in urinalysis. Stability in serum and 24 h urine was evaluated in two temperature regimens: 15-25°C and 2-8°C, for particular time of storage. No significant differences (p = 0.20) in Cu concentration was found between the two types of tested tubes with patient`s sera. The stability of the samples (serum and urine) was better at refrigeration temperature. In urine the stability was better in D-PA administration.Standardization of Cu analysis could be achieved by assessing the aspects of pre-analytical factors of variations.

1. Anand, V., White, J., Hippolto, N. Some aspects of specimen collection and stability in trace element analysis of body fluids.- Clin. Chem, 1975, 21/4, 595-602.

2. Bonini, P., Plebani, M., Cerrioti, F., Rubboli, Fr. Errors in laboratory medicine.- Clin Chem, 2002, 48(5), 691-8.

3. Bornhorst, J., Hunt, J., Urry, F., McMillin, G. Comparison of Sample Preservation Methods for Clinical Trace Element Analysis by Inductively Coupled PlasmaMass Spectrometry.- Am J Clin Pathol, 2005, 123, 578-583.

4. Bowen, R., Remaley, A. Interferences from blood collection tube components on clinical chemistry assay.- Biochem Med, 2014, 24(1), 31-44.

5. Control of Pre-analytical Variation in Trace Element Determinations, Approved Guideline, NCCLS document C38-A (ISBN 1-56238-332-9). NCCLS, 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087 USA, 1997.

6. IUPAC, Pure and Applied Chemistry 67, 1995, 1575-1608.

7. Ivanova, I., Krastev, Z., Petkova, T., Dragneva, S. Comparison between 6-hour and 24-hour cupriuria in monitoring of therapy with D-penicillamine in patients with Wilson disease.- Biochem Med, 2013, 23(1), A1-A55.

8. Lauwerys, R., Amery, A., Bernard, A. et al. Health effects of environmental exposure to cadmium: objectives, design and organization of the Cadmibel Study: a cross-sectional morbidity study carried out in Belgium from 1985 to 1989.- Environ Health Perspect, 1990, 87, 283-9.

9. Lippi, G., Banfi , G., Church, S. et al. Preanalytical quality improvement. In pursuit of harmony, on behalf of European Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) Working group for Preanalytical Phase (WG-PRE).- Clin Chem Lab Med, 2014, 1-14.

10. Oddoze, C., Lombard, E., Portugal, H. Stability studies of 81 analytes in human whole blood, in serum and plasma.- Clin Biochem, 2012; 45: 464-9.

11. Plebani, M. Errors in clinical laboratory or errors in laboratory medicine? Clin Chem Lab Med. 2006; 44(6):750-59.

12. Plebani, M., Sciacovelli, L., Aita, A., Chiozza, M.L. Harmonization of pre-analytical quality indicators. - Biochem Med, 2014; 24(1):105-13.

13. Trace elements in human and animal nutrition, fi fth edition. Beltsville Meryland, Walter Mertz, Academic press, 1987, Volume 1.

14. Welz, B. Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. Verlag Chemie. Weinheim, New York, 1976.

15. Westgard QC. Desirable specifi cations for total error, imprecision and bias, derived from intra- and inter-individual biological variation. Available at:, 2012.

Journal Information


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 235 191 12
PDF Downloads 95 87 11