Pyruvic Acid, Whole Blood

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Turnaround Time: 2 - 4 days
CPT Code:


Test Type: 0.5 mL (clear supernatant)
Stability Time:



Room temperature

5 days


7 days


7 days

Freeze/thaw cycles

Stable x3

Reference Range:

0.3−0.7 mg/dL


Increased pyruvic acid levels have been associated with diabetes mellitus, vitamin deficiencies, uremia, congestive heart failure, liver diseases, muscular dystrophy, thiamine deficiency, and neoplastic conditions. Pyruvic acid is useful in assessing oxygen deprivation and provides an index of the severity of circulatory failure.

There appears to be no adequate means of preserving the pyruvic acid level (including the use of sodium fluoride), except immediate precipitation of blood proteins. Because of the time required to obtain serum or plasma from drawn blood, the pyruvic acid values observed with plasma are likely to be different from the true initial values; therefore, the use of whole blood with subsequent protein precipitation for pyruvic acid determination is recommended.

Solutions of perchloric acid can become explosive if allowed to dry. Always rinse glassware and working surfaces copiously with water.

Collection Details:

Collection Instructions:

Gray-top (potassium oxalate/sodium fluoride) tube and one LabCorp 8% perchloric acid tube.

Draw blood into chilled gray-top tube. Immediately after blood is drawn, add 2 mL of whole blood from the gray-top tube to 2 mL of 8% perchloric acid (PeopleSoft No. 111749) (7 mL of 70% perchloric acid diluted to 100 mL with deionized water). Note: Use 1:1 blood (ie, equal parts) to 8% perchloric ratio if less blood is obtained. Shake mixture vigorously for about 30 seconds. Refrigerate for five minutes to ensure complete protein precipitation. Centrifuge 5 to 10 minutes at approximately 1500xg. Immediately transfer the clear supernatant to a transport tube. Label the transport tube as "supernatant" and send to the laboratory. Note: A second centrifugation of the supernatant may be necessary to obtain a clear protein-free solution.

Maintain the perchloric acid supernatant refrigerated.