Ethylene Glycol, Serum or Plasma

CPT: 82693
Updated on 10/23/2018
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Test Details


Gas chromatography (GC)

Reference Interval

None detected (<5 mg/dL)

Critical Value

Potentially toxic: >20 mg/dL
Potentially toxic: >100 mg/dL
Potentially toxic: >20 mg/dL

Additional Information

Ethylene glycol is a colorless, odorless, sweet tasting compound used commercially in antifreeze. It has been utilized in suicide attempts, as a substitute for ethanol and in accidental poisonings in both children and domestic pets. 100 mL is lethal; rapid treatment can prevent damage. Half-life is three to five hours. Toxicity is manifested by CNS depression (1 to 12 hours after ingestion), cardiopulmonary symptoms (12 to 24 hours after ingestion), and renal damage (24 to 72 hours after ingestion). Oxalate is a minor metabolite of ethylene glycol and crystals are commonly seen in urine. In addition to blood levels of ethylene glycol, hypocalcemia, elevated anion gap, metabolic acidosis, and osmolal gap elevation are observed. Precaution: Toxicity may be manifested without osmolal gap changes and osmolal and anion gap increases can be present with very low levels of ethylene glycol.

Specimen Requirements


Serum or plasma


7 mL

Minimum Volume

1.1 mL


Gel-barrier tube or green-top (heparin) tube; submit original unopened tube.

Storage Instructions


Clinical Information


Fraser AD. Clinical toxicologic implications of ethylene glycol and glycolic acid poisoning. Ther Drug Monit. 2002 Apr; 24(2):232-238. 11897969


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
071654 Ethylene Glycol, Serum 5646-5 071654 Ethylene Glycol, Serum mg/dL 5646-5

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