The measurement of zinc in the serum is used to check for its possible deficiency.
Zinc (Zn) is an important trace element, encompassing carbonic anhydrase, alkaline phosphatase, RNA and DNA polymerases, alcoholic dehydrogenase and many other important enzymes and proteins.
The decrease in the concentration of zinc in the body occurs either because it is not absorbed by the diet (excess copper or iron makes it difficult to absorb) or is lost after absorption. Dietary deficiency may be due to absence (such as parenteral nutrition) or because zinc binds to dietary fiber and is not absorbed. Excess copper and iron in the diet can interfere with zinc absorption. When absorbed, the most common route of loss is through exudates from open wounds or through the gastrointestinal tract. Zinc depletion occurs in patients with burns who lose zinc in the secretions of burns. Hepatic cirrhosis causes excessive loss of zinc by enhancing renal excretion. Other diseases that cause a decrease in zinc levels are ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, enteritis, celiac disease, intestinal bypass, neoplastic diseases and increased catabolism induced by anabolic steroids. Poor nutrition can also lead to low levels of zinc.
An increase in serum zinc concentration is not of major clinical importance. Much of zinc passes through the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted in the faeces. Some of the zinc absorbed is also excreted in the urine. The only known effect of excessive zinc intake is related to the fact that zinc interferes with the absorption of copper, which can lead to hypokalaemia.
Zinc is a key ingredient for active wound healing.
Possible Interpretations of Pathological Values
- Increase: Anemia, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, dietary intake of acidic foods or beverages from galvanized containers, industrial exposure to zinc (adhesion), primary osteosarcoma. Medications: Cisplatin, Corticosteroids, Estrogens, Interferon, Oral Contraceptives, Phenytoin, Thiazides
- Decrease: Enteropathic acne dermatitis, alopecia, alcoholism, anemia (haemolytic), burns (severe), celiac disease, liver cirrhosis, diarrhea, cholecystitis, liver metastases, hypokalatinaemia, hypogonemia, leukemia, lymphoma, lymphoma , poor dietary intake, pregnancy (third trimester), parenteral nutrition, kidney failure (chronic), stress, thalassemia, typhoid fever, tuberculosis (pulmonary), Wilson's disease. Medications: Antimetabolites, Chlorothalidone, Cisplatin, Diuretics, Estrogens, Histidine, Penicillamine
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.