COPPER, whole blood and red blood cell
B-Cu ATK 7211
E-Cu ATK 7009

Copper acts as an antioxidant via various enzymes in the body. Copper is a part in the structure of the blood enzyme catalase. The cellular structure-protecting superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD) is likewise a copper-dependent enzyme. One of the main prerequisites for a long life is the efficiency of this enzyme. Copper enhances the enzymatic reaction, and this enzyme’s endurance depends on zinc. CuZn-SOD efficiency can be indirectly assessed by measuring copper and zinc balances.


Assessment of intracellular copper levels in the body.


B-Cu 5 mL of lithium-heparin blood
E-Cu 10 mL of lithium-heparin blood (3 mL of red blood cell mass, see instructions below)

Mix the sample well. The tube must not contain any clots. Take trace element samples last in order to cleanse the sampling needle of possible trace element residues. If this is the only test requisition, first take one extra tube.

No fasting is needed. No trace element supplements 12 hours before sampling. The result is normalised to whole blood haematocrit (Hkr) value (B-PVK). The client should determine the haematocrit prior to shipping the sample and write the result on the test requisition.

The Hkr is essential for interpretation of results. Without a measured Hkr value, standard Hkr is used.

E-Cu sample treatment 

➢ centrifuge the whole blood tube
➢ after centrifugation, remove the plasma and white blood cells off the top of the red blood cells
➢ add a 0.9% NaCl solution volume equivalent to the plasma into the tube
➢ mix the sample by turning
➢ centrifuge
➢ remove the wash solution (NaCl) off the top of the red blood cells
➢ mix well before shipping

Storage and delivery

Ship at room temperature on sampling day (shipping Mon-Thu). Store frozen over the weekend, ship at room temperature.

Method principle


Turnaround time

10 weekdays

Reference ranges, calculated

women 11.9 – 18.5 mmol/L (Hkr 0.39)
men 11.9 – 18.5 mmol/L (Hkr 0.42)
​The Hkr value affects the reference ranges. The same sample can be used to measure K, Mg, Mn, P, Se and Zn.

Reference ranges, calculated 

women 8.6 – 13.1 mmol/L (Hkr 0.39) 
​men 8.9 – 13.2 mmol/L (Hkr 0.42)