UCSF Navigation Bar

UCSF Departments of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Home Page

Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources


Item Value
Available Stat? Yes
Test code MHOH
Performed by? Chemistry
Sendout? no
Price range $$
In House Availability Routine or Stat: 7:30 am - 11:30 pm, M - F;
7:30 am - 3:00 pm, weekends and holidays
Principle Headspace Gas Chromatography Flame Ionization Detector (HSGC-FID)
Interpretation Methanol is a low molecular weight alcohol that is highly toxic to humans. It metabolizes to formaldehyde, which can cause retinal damage, and formic acid, where it causes an anion gap metabolic acidosis. Measurement of the osmolality and subsequent calculation of the osmolal gap is helpful to screen patients who may be intoxicated with methanol.
Container type gel tube (gold or green top)
gray top for whole blood
Amount to Collect 5 mL
Sample type Serum is preferred. Plasma and whole blood are acceptable
Normal range There is no methanol in normal sera.
Stability Minimum 1 week at 2-8°C. The sample must be kept capped.
References 1. Church, A.S., and Witting, M.D.: Laboratory testing in ethanol, methanol, ethylene glycol, and isopropanol toxicities. J. Emerg. Med. 15:687-92, 1997.

2. Ferrari, L.A., Arado, M.G., Nardo, C.A., and Giannuzzi, L.: Post-mortem analysis of formic acid disposition in acute methanol intoxication. Foren. Sci. Int. 133:152-8, 2003

3. Kerns, W. 2nd, Tomaszewski, C., McMartin, K., Ford, M., and Brent, J.: Formate kinetics in methanol poisoning. J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 40:137-43, 2002.

4. Kostic, M.A., and Dart, R.C.: Rethinking the toxic methanol level. J. Toxicol. Clin. Toxicol. 41:793-800, 2003.
CPT coding 84600
Last Updated 9/16/2015 8:52:39 AM
Search Our Test Menu
UCSF home page UCSF home page About UCSF Search UCSF UCSF Medical Center