Acetylsalicylic Acid Test - Results Interpretation

Salicylate testing measures the concentration in the blood to detect and/or monitor an overdose (salicylate poisoning). Sometimes, a screening test performed on  a urine sample may lead to suspicion of the presence of salicylate in the blood.

  • Lower blood levels are sufficient for pain relief and to lower risk of blood clots
  • higher levels may be required for managing inflammation in rheumatic conditions such as arthritis. At these higher levels, some side effects may become apparent.

The severity of signs and symptoms, and at what dose they emerge, depends upon the individual. Symptoms may be seen with blood levels that are generally considered to be therapeutic in inflammatory conditions, and they will tend to appear in many people at levels of about 10-30 mg/dL.

In general, the severity of salicylate toxicity increases with increasing concentrations.

The table below summarizes some results that may be seen. These numbers typically represent a blood sample that is collected at least 4 hours after last dose:

Salicylate result reported as mg/dL Salicylate result reported as mcg/mL Result Interpretation
2-10 20-100 Therapeutic level for pain
10-30 100-300 Anti-inflammatory level; some symptoms of toxicity may appear, such as headache, tinnitus, vertigo
Greater than 30 Greater than 300 Considered toxic



* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.