Cholinesterase - red cell

Last updated: Monday, 06, August, 2007

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Item Process
Specimen

5 mL blood in lithium heparin tube.

Method

Spectrophotometry.

Reference Interval

Consult pathologist.

Application

Diagnosis of poisoning with organophosphate or carbamate insecticides, monitoring long term exposure.

This is the preferred test, but see also Cholinesterase - plasma, which can be substituted and may be valuable to detect repeated exposure.

Interpretation

Reduced levels are found with poisoning, whether acute or chronic. Levels will return to normal as the affected erythrocyte population is replaced.

For occupational monitoring, pre-exposure (off season) values will ideally be determined for later comparison with exposed values.

Reference

Walker B Jr and Nidiry J. Inhal Toxicol. 2002; 14(9): 975-990.