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Test Code VS Vanadium, Serum

Reporting Name

Vanadium, S

Useful For

Detecting vanadium toxicity


Monitoring metallic prosthetic implant wear

Performing Laboratory

Mayo Clinic Laboratories in Rochester

Specimen Type


Specimen Required

Collection Container/Tube: Plain, royal blue-top Vacutainer plastic trace element blood collection tube (T184)

Submission Container/Tube: 7-mL Mayo metal-free, screw-capped, polypropylene vial (T173)

Specimen Volume: 1.6 mL

Collection Instructions:

1. Allow the specimen to clot for 30 minutes; then centrifuge the specimen to separate serum from the cellular fraction.

2. Remove the stopper. Carefully pour specimen into Mayo metal-free, polypropylene vial, avoiding transfer of the cellular components of blood. Do not insert a pipette into the serum to accomplish transfer, and do not ream the specimen with a wooden stick to assist with serum transfer.

3. See Trace Metals Analysis Specimen Collection and Transport in Special Instructions for complete instructions.

Additional Information:

1. High concentrations of gadolinium and iodine are known to interfere with most metals tests. If either gadolinium- or iodine-containing contrast media has been administered, a specimen should not be collected for 96 hours.

2. If ordering the trace element blood collection tube from BD, order catalog #368380.

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.4 mL

Specimen Stability Information

Specimen Type Temperature Time
Serum Refrigerated (preferred) 7 days
  Ambient  7 days
  Frozen  7 days

Reference Values

Normal: <1.0 ng/mL

Day(s) and Time(s) Performed

Wednesday; 5 p.m.

Test Classification

This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information


LOINC Code Information

Test ID Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
VS Vanadium, S 5756-2


Result ID Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
83396 Vanadium, S 5756-2

Clinical Information

The element vanadium, naturally found in minerals and rocks, is considered an essential element for mammals, although conclusive evidence for humans is lacking. Animal studies have shown that vanadium is essential for mammalian growth and reproduction, iron and lipid metabolism, and RBC production.


Vanadium is recovered from minerals or as a by-product of iron, titanium, and uranium refining. Vanadium pentoxide is used in the production of special steels. Vanadium compounds are used as catalysts for polypropylene production and synthesis of inorganic and organic chemicals. Vanadium compounds are used in dyes, photography, ceramics, and in the production of special glasses. Vanadium also is a component of a fiber mesh prosthetic alloy.


The main source of vanadium intake for the general population is food, with an estimated daily intake of 20 mcg, of which most is excreted in the feces, without absorption. Absorption through the inhalation route results in more effective uptake. About 90% of blood vanadium is found in serum. The half-life in serum is not well documented, but it appears to be on the order of several days. Although there is minimal evidence for the nature of vanadium complexation in the body, research suggests transferrin will bind available ionized vanadium.


Currently, there is no clinical data to support the need for taking vanadium supplements such as vanadyl sulfate, vanadium colloid, or any other form. This test provides no information regarding any theoretical vanadium deficiency.


Vanadium has been recognized as an occupational hazard for >20 years. Elevated atmospheric vanadium levels can result from burning fossil fuels with a high vanadium content. Inhalation and ingestion are the primary exposure routes. Vanadium exposure can result in a metallic taste and so-called "green tongue." Sensitization can result in asthma or eczema. Vanadium intoxication is effectively treated with ascorbic acid.


Increased vanadium serum concentrations are observed in dialysis patients and those with compromised renal function since the kidney is primarily responsible for vanadium elimination. Elevated serum vanadium levels have been observed in patients with joint replacements; concentrations are likely to be increased above the reference range in patients with metallic joint prosthesis. Prosthetic devices produced by Zimmer Company and Johnson and Johnson typically are made of aluminum, vanadium, and titanium. Prosthetic devices produced by Depuy Company, Dow Corning, Howmedica, LCS, PCA, Osteonics, Richards Company, Tricon, and Whiteside typically are made of chromium, cobalt, and molybdenum. This list of products is incomplete, and these products change occasionally; see prosthesis product information for each device for composition details.

Analytic Time

1 day

Reject Due To


Mild OK; Gross OK


Mild OK; Gross OK


Mild OK; Gross OK



NY State Approved


Method Name

Dynamic Reaction Cell-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (DRC-ICP-MS)