Aluminium

Description: 
Aluminium by ICP-MS

Clinical details: 
Aluminium is a non-essential trace element of ubiquitous distribution. Although exposure to aluminium dust in industrial situations has been associated with pulmonary fibrosis, most cases of aluminium toxicity have been in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) on haemo- or peritoneal dialysis. Greatly elevated plasma aluminium concentrations in these patients are clearly associated with the symptoms of dialysis encephalopathy and osteodystrophy. Aluminium accumulation may be possible, in part at least, for the anaemia and soft tissue calcification of CRF. The increased body burden arises from two sources. Firstly, oral aluminium hydroxide was widely used as a phosphate binder and secondly aluminium is added to reservoir water as a flocculent. In recent years magnesium salts have replaced aluminium hydroxide as an intestinal phosphate binder and most dialysis units now have reverse osmosis units to purify water for dialysis prior to use. High plasma aluminium concentrations are less common in CRF patients now but continued monitoring is required.

Aluminium is transported in blood bound to transferrin, and aluminium status is best assessed by measurement of the plasma aluminium concentration. In addition, the aluminium content of the dialysis solutions and water used for dilution may also require measurement.
Reference range: 

Normal serum aluminium concentration is < 0.4 µmol/L in subjects with no history of chronic renal failure (CRF). It is however, common for concentrations to be above >0.4µmol/L in renal patients

Sample type and Volume required: 
Serum/plasma, dialysis fluid. Volume required: 500µl
Turnaround time: 
1 - 2 weeks
Special sample instructions: 

Must be separated without delay 

Storage and transport: 
Stable at 4°C for at least two days. Send by overnight first class post.
Contacts:
Toxicology Department at King's Hospital
020 3299 5881
kch-tr.toxicology@nhs.net
King's College Hospital
Bessemer Wing - 3rd Floor
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
Trace Elements Laboratory at King's College Hospital
020 3299 3008
kishor.raja@nhs.net
King's College Hospital
Bessemer Wing - Top Floor
Denmark Hill
London SE5 9RS
For clinical advice or interpretation of results, please contact the laboratory in the first instance.

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Last updated: 21/11/2017