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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Clinical Biochemistry

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Turnaround times

For most routine investigations the laboratory endeavours to analyse specimens on the day of receipt.

Source Turnaround time
GP / outpatients Routine assays: analyse same day. CCG target 98 percent of specimens turned around within 48 hours.
Inpatients Routine assays - under normal circumstances: target 50 percent (median) within two hours.

Routine assays are available across all three sites and comprise:

  • U&E: Sodium, Potassium, Urea, Creatinine
  • LFTs: Total Bilirubin, Albumin, Alanine Aminotransferase, Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Bone: Calcium, Phosphate, Albumin, Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Lipids: Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, Triglycerides
  • Toxicology: Salicylate, Paracetamol, Ethanol (not available at the Churchill Hospital)
  • Chloride
  • Bicarbonate
  • Amylase
  • Ammonia
  • Glucose
  • C-reactive Protein (CRP)
  • Magnesium
  • Total Protein
  • Troponin I (not available at the Churchill Hospital)
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG) (not available at the Churchill Hospital)
  • Aspartate Aminotransferase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase
  • Uric Acid
  • Conjugated Bilirubin (not available at the Churchill Hospital)
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase

Other assays are usually associated with longer turnaround times. Urgent analysis, if available, may be arranged with the Duty Biochemist (bleep 1718). These assays are shown alphabetically below.

Blood tests

Analyte / profile Frequency of analysis Turnaround time Available at:
Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) Weekly 14 days JR
Aldosterone Fortnightly 21 days JR
Alpha Feto Protein (AFP) Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Amino Acids Weekly 14 days JR
Androstenedione Twice weekly 7 days JR
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Weekly 14 days JR
Apolipoprotein B Available 24 hours 24 hours JR
Beta-hydroxybutyrate Weekly 14 days JR
Bile Acids Available 24 hours 24 hours JR
BNP Daily (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Calcitonin Weekly 14 days JR
Carbamazepine Daily (weekdays) 24 hours JR
Carbohydrate Antigen 125 (Ca125) Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Carbohydrate Antigen 15.3 (Ca15.3) Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Carbohydrate Antigen 19.9 (Ca19.9) Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Carboxyhaemoglobin Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Chylomicrons As required (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Citrulline Daily (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Cortisol Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
C-peptide Daily (weekdays) 24 hours JR
Cyclosporin Daily (weekdays) 36 hours JR
Cystatin C Daily (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Digoxin Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Dihydroepiandrosterone Sulphate (DHEAS) Twice weekly 7 days JR
Erythropoietin (EPO) Weekly 14 days JR
Ferritin Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Contact the department Contact the department JR
Folate (serum) Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Folate (red cell) Daily 48 hours HGH
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Free Androgen Index Twice weekly 7 days JR
Free Fatty Acids Weekly 14 days JR
Gentamicin Daily 8 hours JR
Growth Hormone Twice weekly 7 days JR
Haematinics Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
HbA1c Daily (weekdays) 48 hours JR, HGH
Hepcidin Contact the department Contact the department JR
Insulin Daily (weekdays) 24 hours JR
Insulin-like growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) Weekly 14 days JR
Iohexol By arrangement only 48 hours JR
Iron Available 24 hours 24 hours JR, HGH
Lactate Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
Lipase Daily (weekdays) 24 hours CH
Lithium Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
Luteinising Hormone (LH) Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Macroprolactins Twice weekly 7 days JR, HGH
Methaemoglobin Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
Methotrexate By arrangement only 6 hours JR
Neonatal Bilirubin Available 24 hours 4 hours JR
Oestradiol Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Osmolality Available 24 hours 8 hours JR, HGH
P1NP Fortnightly 21 days JR
Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Daily (weekdays) 24 hours JR, CH
Phenobarbitone Daily 24 hours JR
Phenytoin Daily 24 hours JR
Progesterone Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Prolactin Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Renin Fortnightly 21 days JR
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) Twice weekly 7 days JR
Sirolimus Daily (weekdays) 36 hours JR
Tacrolimus Daily (weekdays) 36 hours JR
Testosterone Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Theophylline Daily 24 hours JR
Thyroglobulin Twice weekly 7 days JR
Thyroid hormones Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Transferrin Available 24 hours 24 hours JR, HGH
Valproate Daily 24 hours JR
Vancomycin Daily 8 hours JR
Vitamin B12 Daily 24 hours JR, HGH
Vitamin D Twice weekly 7 days JR
Zinc Weekly 14 days JR

Urine tests

Analyte / profile Frequency of analysis Turnaround time Available at:
Amino Acids Weekly 14 days JR
Bilirubin Daily (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Chylomicrons As required (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Citrate Weekly 14 days JR
Cortisol Weekly 14 days JR
5-Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid Weekly 14 days JR
Metadrenalines Twice weekly 7 days JR
Osmolality Available 24 hours 8 hours JR, HGH
Oxalate Weekly 14 days JR
Albumin:Creatinine Ratio Daily 48 hours JR, HGH
pH Daily (weekdays) 48 hours JR, HGH
Protein Daily 48 hours JR, CH, HGH
Reducing Substances Weekly 7 days (14 days if chromatography required) JR
Porphyrin/PBG As required (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Toxicology Daily (weekdays) 48 hours (14 days if opiate confirmation is required) JR
TRP Weekly 7 days JR

Stool tests

Analyte / profile Frequency of analysis Turnaround time Available at:
Elastase Fortnightly 21 days* JR
Fat globules Twice weekly 7 days* JR
Occult blood (FIT) Weekly 14 days* JR
Reducing Substances Twice weekly 7 days (14 days if chromatography required)* JR
*If multiple stool tests are requested and only one sample is received then the turnaround times may be increased

CSF / fluid tests

Analyte / profile Frequency of analysis Turnaround time Available at:
Alpha Feto Protein (AFP) [Fluid] Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Amino Acids (CSF) Weekly 14 days JR
Carbohydrate Antigen 125 (Ca125) [Fluid] Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Carbohydrate Antigen 15.3 (Ca15.3) [Fluid] Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Carbohydrate Antigen 19.9 (Ca19.9) [Fluid] Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) [Fluid] Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Chloride (Sweat) As required (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Chylomicrons [Fluid] As required (weekdays) 48 hours JR
Gentamicin [CSF] Daily 8 hours JR
Glucose (CSF) Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
  Daily (weekdays) 4 hours CH
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin [Fluid] Daily (weekdays) 72 hours JR
Lactate (CSF) Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
  Daily (weekdays) 4 hours CH
LDH [CSF] Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
  Daily (weekdays) 4 hours CH
LDH [Fluid] Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
  Daily (weekdays) 4 hours CH
Osmolality [Fluid] Available 24 hours 8 hours JR, HGH
Protein (CSF) Available 24 hours 4 hours JR, HGH
  Daily (weekdays) 4 hours CH
Vancomycin [CSF] Daily 8 hours JR
Xanthochromia / CSF spectroscopy As required (08:30-21:00) 24 hours JR

Turnaround times are based on time of receipt in the analysing laboratory. Requests from the Horton or Churchill Hospitals that require referral to the JR laboratory for analysis will incur an additional 24-48 hour delay.

Antenatal / Neonatal Screening

The projected turnaround time for screening samples from receipt in the laboratory is three working days.