Barium, Blood



Quest Diagnostics Test Code: 5375

This checks for amount of Barium in the blood. Barium can cause vomiting, abdominal cramps, muscle weakness, diarrhea, high or low blood pressure and breathing issues.

Barium is silvery-white earth metal. It could be found in nature in many forms. Amounts of barium in blood are very low. Elevated level of barium in blood is a sign of intoxication. Certain amounts of barium are found in air, especially in big cities or areas around factories. It could also be found in drinking water (barium-chloride, barium-nitrate, barium-hydroxide) and food, but that amount is not high enough to be a health concern. A high risk of exposure correlates directly with barium intoxication. People with greatest risk are those who work at factories where they breathe the air that contains barium-sulphate and barium-carbonate. Barium can also enter human body by eating contaminated food or drinking water with high amount of barium. A small amount can also be brought in through skin. Elevated barium-level usually correlates with some symptoms and signs of intoxication. The main symptoms are muscle weakness and tremor, difficulty in breathing, stomach irritations accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, anxiety, cardiac irregularities such as abnormally high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat, paralysis. Most of these symptoms appear as the sign of lowered potassium level in cells, because its channels are blocked by barium.

This test is performed in following conditions such as:

• Working in a setting where barium is present
• Living in the area suspected of having higher than normal barium levels in the environment
• When person has unexplained lowered potassium level


Specimen Collected
  • Blood
Estimated Time Taken

Turnaround time for the Barium, Blood test is typically 3-6 business days.