Copper Serum Test

copper serum test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is Copper?

Copper is a very essential mineral that is incorporated into enzymes in the body. These enzymes are used for iron metabolism. The creation of melanin and the nervous system regulation is highly influenced by the content of the copper. Our body absorbs copper in the intestine and makes it non-toxic by binding it to a protein and transferring it to the liver. The liver stores some copper and the rest of the copper is excreted by the liver into the bile. It is removed from the body via stool and urine. 

What is the Copper Serum test?

The copper test is used to measure ad monitor the levels of copper in the blood. The abnormalities of the copper levels i.e. the toxicity or the deficiency have adverse effects on health.

What are the alternative names for the Copper Serum test?

The alternative names for the Copper Serum test are Cu, Urine Copper, Blood Copper Free Copper, Hepatic Copper.

Why did my doctor ask me to undergo the Copper Serum Test?

Your doctor might ask you to undergo the Copper Test if he notices any signs of any disorders or diseases caused by the abnormalities of the copper levels in your body. Wilson’s Disease which is an inherited copper deficiency syndrome is diagnosed using the Copper Test.

Generally, other tests are also suggested along with the Copper test to diagnose Wilson’s Disease. The Copper Test might also be suggested by your doctor if he wants to diagnose the progression of your disease caused by the abnormalities of Copper levels in the body. The copper test help in the assessment of the severity of any disease or disorder caused by the abnormal levels of Copper in the body.
The common symptoms of Wilson disease include:
Low white blood cell count
Kayser-Fleischer rings. These are brown rings around the cornea that are visible to a healthcare provider during an eye exam.

When should I take the Copper Serum Test?

There are a plethora of symptoms related to the diseases and the disorders caused by the abnormalities of the copper. If you notice any such symptoms and signs, the Copper Serum Test is highly recommended. 

What are the common symptoms of copper deficiency?

The common symptoms of copper deficiency are:
– Lower count of white blood cells(WBCs). This phenomenon is also called neutrophils (neutropenia)
– Osteoporosis 
– Paleness 
– Hair with lesser than required pigment
– Fatigue and weakness
– Difficulty in walking
– Vision loss

What are the common symptoms of copper toxicity?

The common symptoms of copper toxicity are:
– Heart and kidney failure
Liver damage
– Brain disease or disorder
– Headaches
– Fever
– Passing out
– Feeling sick
– Throwing up
– Blood in your vomit
– Diarrhea
– Black poop
Abdominal cramps
– Brown ring-shaped markings in your eyes (Kayser-Fleischer rings)
– Yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)

What are the preparations needed for the Copper Serum Test?

There are no specific preparations needed for the copper serum test to be conducted.

– There is no requirement for fasting.
– No new medication is included.
– Old medications are not required to be stopped.

What is the procedure of the Copper Serum Test?

For conducting the procedure of the Copper serum Test, a sample of blood is collected by the process of venipuncture. The process of venipuncture includes the following steps:

– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet is unwrapped. An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection.

– The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding.

– The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Copper Serum test.

Is the procedure of the Copper Serum Test painful?

The Copper Serum test procedure involves no pain at all. The blood sample collection is done by venipuncture so a person might feel a pinpricking sensation while the syringe is injected. The negligible pain wears off in a span of a few hours or a day maximum.

What are the risks associated with the Copper Serum test procedure?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection(venipuncture) might have some risks associated with it:

– Some people feel light-headed and dizzy after the blood is drawn.

– It might cause Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise).

– There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

When will I get my results for the copper Serum Test?

You will get your results for the test within 24 to 36 hours of the test.

How to interpret my results for the Copper Serum test?

The clinical range for total copper in the blood is 70 to 140 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). A lower level of Copper indicates the following conditions:

– Kidney disease
– A nutritional deficiency
– Inability to absorb copper

A higher level of Copper indicates the following conditions:

– Biliary cirrhosis, a liver disease
-Hemochromatosis, a condition in which your body absorbs too much iron
-Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
– An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
– Infection
– Leukemia
– Lymphoma
– Rheumatoid arthritis 

Is the Copper serum test recommended for pregnant women?

Copper serum test involves no risk at all for pregnant women since it is conducted by the blood sample collection via the venipuncture process. The copper level is the highest ina pregnant woman’s blood in the 22nd, 27th and the 35th week of gestation. The doctor recommends the Copper serum test to pregnant women to monitor the regular changes in the copper levels in the blood. An abnormality in the copper level in the blood can lead to various disorders and diseases in the baby.

Copper toxicity in the mother can lead to restricted fetal growth. Excessive higher levels of Copper leads to neurological issues because of oxidative damage caused by copper accumulation in the placenta and fetal tissue. The pregnant women with Wilson’s disease undergoing treatment are also recommended to take the Copper Serum Test to evaluate the level of copper in the blood.

Is the Copper Serum test recommended for kids?

Copper Serum test is the safest way of monitoring the levels of serum. It has no pain involved in the process. It is highly recommended for the kids who are born from a mother having any disease or disorder due to the abnormal levels of copper. Copper deficiency through malnutrition or other conditions in children may lead to vascular aneurysms, central nervous system problems, stunted growth, poor muscle tone and muscle weakness, and hypothermia.

Does my newborn need to undergo the copper serum test?

It is necessary for the newborn to undergo this test since monitoring the level of copper in the blood to evaluate if there is any abnormality in the copper level in the blood. Especially the newborn from the mother with copper level abnormality disorders and diseases are highly recommended to undergo the copper serum test.

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