specialised biochemistry

specialised biochemistry

Esoteric Sciences is a national reference laboratory department with four sections: Chromatography, Special Chemistry, Metals and Maternal Screening.

To be a state of the art reference laboratory with a comprehensive, exclusive test menu

Strive For Excellence

Report the Right Result for the Right Patient at the Right Time

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Most specialised biochemistry tests cannot be performed by our main automated laboratory or at our local stat labs, due to specialised methodology requirements or a lower prevalence of the suspected condition.

Some of these tests are offered exclusively by Ampath or are not widely available in South Africa.

Our test menu is continually expanding, and we will be adding Plasma free metanephrines in due course.

CHROMATOGRAPHY (Methodology includes LC-MS/MS, GS-MS, HPLC with PDA or ECD detectors)

  • Urine catecholamine metabolites (fractionated metanephrines and VMA), Urine 5-HIAA
  • Urine methylhistamine
  • Porphyria Screening: Quantitative PBG
  • TOXICOLOGY: Beta-blockers, Drug of Abuse confirmatory testing including chain-of-custody, Benzodiazepines, Pethidine, TAD, Superwarfarins
  • Porphyria Studies on Urine, Faeces and Blood to diagnose the type of Porphyria
  • Vitamin A + E
  • TDM: Clozapine, Gabapentin, Metformin, Quinine, Sulfonylureas, Warfarin
  • INDUSTRIAL: 83 tests for biological monitoring of workers exposed to chemical substances


  • Acetylcholine receptor antibodies
  • ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme)
  • Aldolase
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin
  • Bone Alkaline Phosphatase / Ostase
  • Caeruloplasmin
  • Cystatin C
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Porphyria Screening on Urine
  • Myeloma profile: serum+urine protein electrophoresis, SFLC, serum+urine immunofixation, beta-2 microglobulin
  • Small dense LDL
  • Renal and gall stone analysis by FTIR
  • Reverse T3
  • TDM for Caffeine, Voriconazole, Levetiracetam and Topiramate
  • Tumour markers: Calcitonin, SCC


  • (Methodology includes ICPMS, AA Graphite furnace, AA Flame, FIMS cold vapour AA)
  • 22 metal tests for biological monitoring of workers exposed to metals


  • First trimester screening for Pre-eclampsia, Down's syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Trisomy 13
  • Second trimester screening for Down's syndrome, Trisomy 18 and neural tube defects

Specimen types (other than blood and urine) tested, include:

  • Amniotic fluid: AFP, L/S & PG, Bilirubin OD 450 nm
  • CSF: IgG index and oligoclonal bands by isoelectric focusing, Xanthochromic index for subarachnoid haemorrhage, ADA
  • Faeces: Reducing substances by TLC, Fat
  • Fluid: CSF identification by B2-transferrin and B-trace protein, ADA
  • Saliva: Cortisol
  • Sweat: Chloride measurement by a chloridometer as required by international guidelines

For more information regarding specimen collection and requirements, contact your local AMPATH laboratory, pathologist or Esoteric Sciences (+27 12 678 0713)

Links & Resources

Specialised Biochemistry

Look out for useful Specialised Biochemistry links and resources. Read more