Pathology Handbook

Aluminium

Clinical Indications

Aluminium toxicity arises in patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) due to two reasons. Firstly, oral aluminium is used as a phosphate binder and intestinal absorption may be enhanced in CRF. Secondly, dialysis fluid may have a high aluminium content although, more recently, this is a rare cause.

Request Form

Request on ICE

Availability

Analysed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met

Specific Criteria

Requested by Consultant Renal Physicians for monitoring patients on renal dialysis

Patient Preparation

No specific preparation required

Turnaround Time

1 month

Specimen

Red top plain tube

Volume

2 ml

Container

Sample must be collected into a Red topped tube. Do not use vacutainers!

Collection

1. Collect blood into a plastic syringe
2. Remove and discard needle
3. Discharge blood into red top tube and recap.
4. Send to laboratory as soon as possible

Sent to referral laboratory (Royal Surrey County Hospital)

Lab Handling

Aliquot and store at 4C

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled or incorrectly labelled sample; not meeting specific criteria for analysis.  Aluminium is prone to contamination and must be collected using plastic consumables. Glass and gel separator tubes must be avoided.

Reference Range

Normal: Less than 0.4 µmol/L

Levels greater than 2.2 µmol/L indicates increased aluminium body burden.

Aluminium concentration in dialysis fluid should not exceed 1.1 µmol/L.

Unit Conversion

To convert from µmol/L to ug/L multiply by 26.95