Chromium deficiency may occur with long-term total parenteral nutrition (TPN). Chromium is required as a cofactor for insulin utilization in peripheral tissue associated with glucose tolerance factor (GTF).


Findings in chromium deficiency associated with TPN:

(1) long-term (months to years) total parenteral nutrition or chronic malnutrition

(2) failure to supplement parenteral solutions with chromium

(3) onset or worsening of glucose intolerance with hyperglycemia

(4) sepsis or occult infection excluded

(5) peripheral neuropathy

(6) elevated serum LDL cholesterol

(6) demonstration of low chromium level in hair, serum or whole blood.

(7) normalization of glucose handling following 2 weeks of chromium chloride replacement



• The conversion factor from CU (µg/L) to SIU units (nmol/L) is 19.23. The molecular weight of chromium is 51.996.

• Blood samples submitted for analysis should be collected in metal free containers.

• Grant states that hair analysis is the best method of documenting deficiency.


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