Chromium, Urine

Diagnostic Use

Chromium is an essential trace element necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. In chromium deficiency a condition similar to diabetes is exhibited. Natural complexes that include chromium (e.g. brewer’s yeast) appear to be better absorbed from the GI tract than inorganic salts of chromium. Chromium enters the blood stream and is converted to chromium(III) and is rapidly taken up in the tissues. As the tissues and blood are not in equilibrium with regards to chromium, the blood level is not a good indicator of chromium stores. About 80% of absorbed chromium is eliminated in the urine, (1/2 life 15-41 hours) so that urinary chromium levels can be used as an indication of body burden.
Chromium can also be absorbed through the lungs from chromate fumes and dust. Chromium exists in two main valency states, trivalent and hexavalent. Chromium(VI) is better absorbed and more toxic than chromium(III), and has also been listed as a carcinogen implicated in lung cancer. If absorbed Cr(VI) is not converted to Cr(III) in the red blood cells, acute kidney damage can occur.
Occupational exposure to chromium occurs in wood tanalising, stainless steel welding, chrome plating, the leather tanning industry and the use of lead chromate or strontium chromate paints.


Lipids/Trace Metals

Delphic Registration Code


Laboratory Handling


Send to separating if ambient on arrival. Send to lipids/trace metals if frozen on arrival.


Make aliquot for UCRN. Send primary sample to lipids/trace metals.

Turnaround Time

5 days

Test Code