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Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

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Item Value
Available Stat? Yes, with Laboratory Medicine Resident approval.
Test code ETG
Performed by? Chemistry
Sendout? no
Price range $$
In House Availability Routine or Stat: 7:30 am - 11:00 pm, M - F;
7:30 am - 3:00 pm, weekends and holidays
Principle Enzymatic analysis
Interpretation Ethylene glycol is a low molecular weight alcohol used as automobile antifreeze and is highly toxic to humans. It metabolizes to oxalic acid and glycolic acid resulting in an anion gap metabolic acidosis. Ethylene glycol is toxic to kidneys and can produce oxalate crystals. Measurement of the osmolality and subsequent calculation of the osmolal gap is helpful to screen patients who may be intoxicated with ethylene glycol.
Container type gold top gel tube, green top gel acceptable
Amount to Collect 2 mL
Sample type Serum
Normal range There is no ethylene glycol in normal sera.
Stability 3 months at 2 - 8°C
Interferences False Positive results may occur in patients with high activities of lactate and lactate dehydrogenase and in patients with hepatotoxicity due to acetaminophen.

Some patients in diabetic ketoacidosis or alcoholic ketoacidosis have a high level of 2,3-butanediol in their blood, which can produce a false positive result.
References 1. Wu, A.H.B., McKay, C., Broussard, L.A., Hoffman, R.S., Kwong, T.C., Moyer, T.P., Otten, E.M., Welch, S.L., and Wax, P.: National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory Medicine Practice Guidelines: Recommendations for the use of laboratory tests to support poisoned patients who present to the emergency department. Clin. Chem. 49:357-379, 2003.

2. Church, A.S., and Witting, M.D.: Laboratory testing in ethanol, methanol, ethylene glycol, and isopropanol toxicities. J. Emerg. Med. 15:687-92, 1997.

3. Wax P, Branton T, Cobaugh D, Kwong T. False positive ethylene glycol determination by enzyme assay in patients with chronic acetaminophen hepatotoxicity [Abstract]. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1999; 37:604.
CPT coding 82693
Last Updated 7/24/2015 4:14:19 PM
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