Test Catalog

Test Id : ETGL

Ethylene Glycol, Serum

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Confirming and monitoring ethylene glycol toxicity

Method Name
A short description of the method used to perform the test

Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detection (GC-FID)

NY State Available
Indicates the status of NY State approval and if the test is orderable for NY State clients.


Reporting Name
Lists a shorter or abbreviated version of the Published Name for a test

Ethylene Glycol, S

Specimen Type
Describes the specimen type validated for testing

Serum Red

Specimen Required
Defines the optimal specimen required to perform the test and the preferred volume to complete testing

Collection Container/Tube: Red top (serum gel/SST tubes are not acceptable)

Submission Container/Tube: Plastic vial

Specimen Volume: 2 mL

Collection Instructions: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into plastic vial within 2 hours of collection.


If not ordering electronically, complete, print, and send a Therapeutics Test Request (T831) with the specimen.

Specimen Minimum Volume
Defines the amount of sample necessary to provide a clinically relevant result as determined by the Testing Laboratory

0.3 mL

Reject Due To
Identifies specimen types and conditions that may cause the specimen to be rejected

Gross hemolysis Reject
Gross lipemia Reject
Gross icterus Reject

Specimen Stability Information
Provides a description of the temperatures required to transport a specimen to the performing laboratory, alternate acceptable temperatures are also included

Specimen Type Temperature Time Special Container
Serum Red Refrigerated (preferred) 14 days
Ambient 14 days
Frozen 14 days

Useful For
Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Confirming and monitoring ethylene glycol toxicity

Clinical Information
Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Ethylene glycol is present in antifreeze products, deicing products, detergents, paints, and cosmetics. Ethylene glycol has initial central nervous system (CNS) effects resembling those of ethanol and may be ingested accidentally or for the purpose of inebriation or suicide. Ethylene glycol itself is relatively nontoxic, however, metabolism of ethylene glycol by alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) results in the formation of a number of acid metabolites, including oxalic acid and glycolic acid. These acid metabolites are responsible for much of the toxicity of ethylene glycol.


Clinically poisoning has historically been divided into three stages, although timing may vary and stages may overlap. The first stage typically begins 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion due to the intoxicating effects of the ethylene glycol and may range from mild CNS depression to coma. The second stage begins 12 to 24 hours after ingestion and is characterized severe metabolic acidosis, due to the accumulation of acid metabolites. The third stage occurs 24 to 72 hours after ingestion and is characterized by renal failure due to calcium oxalate crystal deposition in the proximal tubules.


Ethylene glycol toxicity can be treated with 4-methylpyrazole (4-MP; fomepizole) or ethanol by competitively inhibiting alcohol dehydrogenase and thereby preventing conversion of ethylene glycol to its toxic metabolites.

Reference Values
Describes reference intervals and additional information for interpretation of test results. May include intervals based on age and sex when appropriate. Intervals are Mayo-derived, unless otherwise designated. If an interpretive report is provided, the reference value field will state this.

Toxic concentration: > or =20 mg/dL

Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

Toxic concentrations greater than or equal to 20 mg/dL

Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Propionic acid produced in the rare inborn error of metabolism methylmalonic acidemia may be confused with ethylene glycol in the gas chromatographic assay.


Specimens collected in serum gel tubes are not acceptable, as the drug/analyte can absorb on the gel and lead to falsely decreased concentrations.

Clinical Reference
Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Langman LJ, Bechtel LK, Meier BM, Holstege C: Clinical toxicology. In: Rifai N, Horvath AR, Wittwer CT, eds. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. 6th ed. Elsevier;2018:832-887

2. Baselt RC: Disposition of Toxic Drugs and Chemicals in Man.10th ed. Biomedical Publications; 2014:2211

3. Cohen JP, Quan D: Alcohols. In: Tintinalli JE, Ma OJ, Yealy DM, et al, eds. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 9e. McGraw-Hill Education; 2020

Method Description
Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

Ethylene glycol is quantitated in serum by precipitating serum protein with methanol. The supernatant is analyzed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection.(Unpublished Mayo method)

PDF Report
Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed
Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday through Sunday

Report Available
The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

2 days

Specimen Retention Time
Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

2 weeks

Performing Laboratory Location
Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test


Several factors determine the fee charged to perform a test. Contact your U.S. or International Regional Manager for information about establishing a fee schedule or to learn more about resources to optimize test selection.

  • Authorized users can sign in to Test Prices for detailed fee information.
  • Clients without access to Test Prices can contact Customer Service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Prospective clients should contact their Regional Manager. For assistance, contact Customer Service.

Test Classification
Provides information regarding the medical device classification for laboratory test kits and reagents. Tests may be classified as cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and used per manufacturer instructions, or as products that do not undergo full FDA review and approval, and are then labeled as an Analyte Specific Reagent (ASR) product.

This test was developed, and its performance characteristics determined by Mayo Clinic in a manner consistent with CLIA requirements. This test has not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

CPT Code Information
Provides guidance in determining the appropriate Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code(s) information for each test or profile. The listed CPT codes reflect Mayo Clinic Laboratories interpretation of CPT coding requirements. It is the responsibility of each laboratory to determine correct CPT codes to use for billing.

CPT codes are provided by the performing laboratory.


G0480 (if appropriate)

LOINC® Information
Provides guidance in determining the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) values for the order and results codes of this test. LOINC values are provided by the performing laboratory.

Test Id Test Order Name Order LOINC Value
ETGL Ethylene Glycol, S 5646-5
Result Id Test Result Name Result LOINC Value
Applies only to results expressed in units of measure originally reported by the performing laboratory. These values do not apply to results that are converted to other units of measure.
8749 Ethylene Glycol, S 5646-5

Test Setup Resources

Setup Files
Test setup information contains test file definition details to support order and result interfacing between Mayo Clinic Laboratories and your Laboratory Information System.

Excel | Pdf

Sample Reports
Normal and Abnormal sample reports are provided as references for report appearance.

Normal Reports | Abnormal Reports

SI Sample Reports
International System (SI) of Unit reports are provided for a limited number of tests. These reports are intended for international account use and are only available through MayoLINK accounts that have been defined to receive them.

SI Normal Reports | SI Abnormal Reports