Automated analysis for free and short-chain acylcarnitine in plasma with a centrifugal analyzer.
We describe a fully automated, spectrophotometric assay of free and total carnitine in plasma ultrafiltrates. The method, suitable for routine application in most hospital laboratories, incorporates the hydrolysis of acylcarnitines to free carnitine within the program of a Cobas Fara II centrifugal analyzer. The hydrolysis is monitored and calibrated with standard solutions containing octanoylcarnitine. Results correlated well with those from a reference isotope-dilution mass spectrometric assay. The ability to analyze a batch of samples for both free and total carnitine within 90 min enables analysis of > or = 100 samples per day. Used in conjunction with acylcarnitine species identification by mass spectrometry, the Cobas assay facilitates the diagnosis of carnitine-deficiency syndromes and specific metabolic disorders.
Roe, DS; Terada, N; Millington, DS
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