Zinc may be lost following operations or severe infection and
upon recovery, acute zinc deficiency may be precipitated.
Inadequate supplementation of zinc in patients on TPN may occur
and zinc levels should therefore be assessed in these patients.
Symptoms of zinc deficiency include characteristic rash,
abdominal pain and diarrhoea with depression and lethargy.
Zinc deficiency may occur in premature infants prior to weaning
and in a rare inherited disorder of zinc absorption (acrodermatitis
Request on ICE
Analysed by referral laboratory if specific criteria met.
Assessment of zinc status in patients on TPN
Investigation of zinc deficiency in symptomatic patients
Serum in yellow-top SST tube
Red top tubes can also be used
Sample should be transported to laboratory as soon as
Samples should be separated promptly (within 4 hours).
Causes for Rejection
Unlabelled or inadequately labelled sample.
Delay in sample reaching laboratory.
Normal levels 11 - 24 µmol/L.
There is diurnal variation with peak levels at 10.00 am. Zinc
levels fall during acute phase response, but levels below 8 µmol/L
usually indicate deficiency even in presence of acute phase