Copper, Liver

Test Mnemonic


CPT Codes

  • 82525 - QTY (1)

Performing Laboratory


Specimen Requirements

Volume Type Container Collect Temperature Transport Temperature Special Instructions
1 cm longTissue, liverSee noteN/ASee noteObtain a minimum of two liver cores, at least 1 cm in length per core, with an 18 gauge needle. Tissue can be fresh, dried, paraffin-embedded, or formalin-fixed (refer to stability for transport temperature). If formalin-fixed, the tissue should immediately be placed in the same container with formalin. Create a surgical pathology order for liver biopsy and include the comment "QUANTITATIVE COPPER." Specimens other than paraffin-embedded should be stored and transported in a metal-free container (e.g., royal blue with no additive).


Environmental Condition Description
RefrigeratedParaffin block, preserved (formalin), or dried: Indefinitely; Fresh tissue: 1 week
FrozenParaffin block, preserved (formalin), or dried: Indefinitely; Fresh tissue: Indefinitely
AmbientParaffin block, preserved (formalin), or dried: Indefinitely; Fresh tissue: Unacceptable

Days Performed


Turnaround Time

4 - 11 days


Name Description
Inductively Coupled Plasma / Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) 

Reference Range

Special Info

Specimens less than 0.25 mg (dry weight) are unacceptable. Routine existing paraffin block can be used. Paraffin blocks that have been processed with Hollandes or other copper-containing stain will be rejected. This test is New York DOH approved.

Clinical Info

This test may be useful when related serum or urine assessments are inconclusive. Hepatic copper concentrations approach or exceed 250 µg/g in untreated Wilson disease. Elevated hepatic copper is also seen with chronic biliary obstruction and cholestasis. Results inconsistent with other findings may reflect heterogeneity in hepatic copper distribution.