24-hour urine copper test

Definition

The 24-hour urine copper test measures the amount of copper in a urine sample.

How the Test is Performed

A 24-hour urine sample is needed.

Label the container with your name, the date, the time of completion, and return it as instructed.

For an infant, thoroughly wash the area where urine exits the body.

This procedure may take more than one try. An active infant can move the bag, so that the urine leaks into the diaper.

Check the infant often and change the bag after the infant has urinated into it.

Drain the urine from the bag into the container given to you by your health care provider.

Return the bag or container as instructed.

A laboratory specialist will determine how much copper is in the sample.

How to Prepare for the Test

No special preparation is necessary for this test. Extra collection bags may be needed if the sample is being taken from an infant.

How the Test will Feel

The test involves only normal urination, and there is no discomfort.

Why the Test is Performed

Your provider may order this test if you have signs of Wilson disease, a genetic disorder that affects how the body processes copper.

Normal Results

The normal range is 10 to 30 micrograms per 24 hours.

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An abnormal result means you have a higher than normal level of copper. This may be due to:

Risks

There are no risks associated with providing a urine sample.


Review Date: 3/6/2019
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, 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.

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