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Concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper and of their respective transport proteins transferrin, albumin, and ceruloplasmin were measured in serum after elective cholecystectomy and cardiac surgery. The pattern of changes in the concentrations of iron, zinc, and copper was reproducible, with an early increase in serum iron and zinc, then a decrease in the concentrations as these metals are dissociated from their serum transport proteins. Zinc and iron concentrations change before the increase in C-reactive protein, which begins 8 h after incision, whereas the copper concentration in the serum remains constant in the early postoperative period. Quantitative and kinetic differences were observed in both the trace metal and protein changes after cardiac surgery and cholecystectomy. These studies indicate the complexity of interpreting changes in trace elements in serum after surgery.


Journal article


Clin Chem

Publication Date





2243 - 2247


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, C-Reactive Protein, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Carrier Proteins, Ceruloplasmin, Cholecystectomy, Copper, Female, Humans, Iron, Male, Middle Aged, Serum Albumin, Transferrin, Zinc