Cholinesterase, Plasma and RBC
Fasting Required: No

Specimen: Blood

Results: 5-7 Business Days

Two types of cholinesterase are found in blood:
1. ”True” Cholinesterase (acetylcholinesterase)in red cells 2. ”Pseudocholinesterase” (acylcholine acylhydrolase) in serum (plasma).

Cholinesterase testing has two main uses:
1. Can be used to detect organophosphate pesticide exposure and/or poisoning.
2. Can be used several days prior to a surgical procedure to determine if someone with a history of or family history of post-operative paralysis following the use of succinylcholine, a common muscle relaxant used for anesthesia, is at risk of having this reaction.

True cholinesterase (RBC and plasma) activity is decreased in individuals with exposure to organophosphorous insecticides. True cholinesterase, found in erythrocytes and nerve tissue, is responsible for inactivating acetylcholinesterase at nerve endings. With decreased enzyme activity, patients may display a range of nervous system dysfunction. Analysis of RBC and serum or plasma activity is useful in monitoring exposure and recovery.

Limitations: Elevated RBC values, caused by the presence of young RBCs and reticulocytes, may mask acetylcholinesterase inhibition. Plasma results may be depressed in patients who consume oral contraceptives. Hepatic disease may cause up to a 70% decrease in enzyme levels. Cholinesterase may be slightly elevated in patients with obesity or diabetes.

Note: Result turnaround times are an estimate and are not guaranteed. Our reference lab may need additional time due to weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, or equipment maintenance.