Chromium, Plasma

Diagnostic Use

Chromium is an essential trace element necessary for metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. In serum Chromium occurs as CrIII and is bound to serum proteins particularly transferrin and albumin. Chromium (III) is essential for insulin activity and has a low toxicity compared to Chromium (V). Low levels of chromium are widely distributed throughout the body with no special concentration in any particular tissues. Inorganic chromium is poorly absorbed, however chromium in natural complexes such as brewer’s yeast are better absorbed.

When chromium enters the bloodstream it is taken up by the red cells and converted to Cr III, it then rapidly disappears from the bloodstream into the tissues. Blood and tissue chromium are not in equilibrium therefore analysis of blood chromium is not a good indication of exposure. Chromium is absorbed through the digestive tract, respiratory tract and skin and is rapidly excreted principally in the urine. Urinary chromium measurement is used as an indicator of occupational exposure.

Plasma chromium is not a good indicator of occupational exposure and is not measured routinely for monitoring. Increased plasma chromium is sometimes seen in patients with metal on metal hip replacement when degradation and wear of the prosthetic joint has occurred and metals ions accumulate in the surrounding tissues and enter the bloodstream. Increased levels are also seen in patients on dialysis as chromium is included in the dialysis fluid.


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Turnaround Time

5 days

Test Code