Chromium is a mineral that affects insulin, carbohydrate, fat, and protein levels in the body. This article discusses the test to check the amount of chromium in your blood.
A blood sample is needed. Most of the time blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.
You should stop taking mineral supplements and multivitamins for at least several days before the test. Ask your health care provider if there are other medicines you should stop taking before testing. Also, let your provider know if you have recently had contrast agents containing gadolinium or iodine as part of an imaging study. These substances can interfere with testing.
You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted. You may also feel some throbbing at the site after the blood is drawn.
This test may be done to diagnose chromium poisoning or deficiency.
Serum chromium level normally is less than or equal to 1.4 micrograms/liter (µg/L) or 26.92 nanomoles/L (nmol/L).
Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test result.
Increased chromium level may result if you are overexposed to the substance. This may happen if you work in the following industries:
Decreased chromium level only occurs in people who receive all of their nutrition by vein (total parenteral nutrition or TPN) and do not get enough chromium.
Test results may be altered if the sample is collected in a metal tube.
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.