Dry electrolyte-balanced heparinized syringes evaluated for determining ionized calcium and other electrolytes in whole blood.
By analyzing whole blood containing no anticoagulants (uncoagulated whole blood) immediately after collection, we evaluated the relative changes in the concentrations of ionized calcium and other electrolytes in whole blood collected in dry heparinized syringes and in serum prepared from blood collected in evacuated blood-collection tubes. Using these dry heparinized syringes, we collected and analyzed whole blood that contained either 33 or 13 int. units of lithium heparin or 40 int. units of electrolyte-balanced heparin per milliliter of blood. We evaluated the effects both of these heparins at different concentrations of ionized calcium and of the incomplete filling of the syringes. We conclude that: (a) when analyzed within 2-3 min after collection, uncoagulated whole blood provides ionized calcium results unaffected by anticoagulants or cellular metabolism; (b) the preparation of serum unpredictably changes ionized calcium; (c) the use of dry electrolyte-balanced heparin virtually eliminates the interference in ionized calcium concentrations between 0.9 and 1.6 mmol/L; and (d) incomplete filling of electrolyte-balanced heparinized syringes produces no effect in syringes two-thirds full (60 int. units/mL heparin concentration) and a small effect in syringes one-third full (120 int. units/mL heparin).
Toffaletti, J; Ernst, P; Hunt, P; Abrams, B
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