Chromium (Cr) is a trace element found naturally in the body. Chromium is present in the carcinogenic form (hexavalent, Cr6 +) and in the non-carcinogenic form (trivalent, Cr3 +). The carcinogenic form is the result of industrial exposure to chromium in tanners, paint, steel and metal industries, photography and explosives. It can cause toxicity, resulting in respiratory and lung diseases, liver and kidney dysfunction, dermatitis, convulsions and coma. The non-carcinogenic form of chromium is found naturally in soil, water, air, plants and animals, and in almost all food sources. Food intake of chromium helps transport amino acids, especially to the liver and heart. It can also enhance insulin activity and glucose utilization.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Chromium intoxication, hypercholesterolemia, patients with metallic or very high molecular weight polyethylene total hip arthroplasty, tannery workers and other industries.
- Decrease: Aging, diabetes mellitus.
How can one determine if one has been exposed to chromium?
We can measure chromium levels in blood and most biological materials.
Determination of metals is done by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry, Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma Mass Spectrometry), a method that enables the simultaneous detection of many metals. Its sensitivity and accuracy are significantly better than conventional atomic absorption, with the ability to measure metals at concentrations up to 1 in 1015 (1 in 1 quadrillion, ppq)!
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.