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Assessment of the reliability of plasma electrophoresis in birds

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  • 1 Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 2 Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
  • | 3 Present address is James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the reliability of plasma electrophoresis (EPH) in psittacine birds.

Animals—93 psittacine birds.

Procedure—Jugular venipuncture was performed on 93 awake psittacine birds. The plasma was centrifuged, separated, aliquoted into duplicate samples, frozen, and sent to 2 commercial laboratories that routinely perform avian EPH. Samples from 51 birds were sent to laboratory A, and samples from 42 birds were sent to laboratory B. The reliability of EPH results within each laboratory was assessed, but not between laboratories. To determine the reliability (agreement between duplicate samples) of total protein, albumin, prealbumin, α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin concentrations, the intraclass correlation coefficient ( ri ) was calculated.

Results—Both laboratories had excellent agreement between samples for measurement of total protein concentration and only good agreement for albumin concentration. Except for the prealbumin concentration measured at laboratory B, both laboratories had poor agreement for all other values of the EPH.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data indicate that plasma EPH for measuring prealbumin, α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin concentrations may not be a reliable tool for assessing avian health. Small amounts of these proteins in birds plus human variation in reading the EPH curves may lead to variable results. Avian veterinarians should cautiously interpret results from plasma EPH assays for these protein fractions. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:375–378)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the reliability of plasma electrophoresis (EPH) in psittacine birds.

Animals—93 psittacine birds.

Procedure—Jugular venipuncture was performed on 93 awake psittacine birds. The plasma was centrifuged, separated, aliquoted into duplicate samples, frozen, and sent to 2 commercial laboratories that routinely perform avian EPH. Samples from 51 birds were sent to laboratory A, and samples from 42 birds were sent to laboratory B. The reliability of EPH results within each laboratory was assessed, but not between laboratories. To determine the reliability (agreement between duplicate samples) of total protein, albumin, prealbumin, α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin concentrations, the intraclass correlation coefficient ( ri ) was calculated.

Results—Both laboratories had excellent agreement between samples for measurement of total protein concentration and only good agreement for albumin concentration. Except for the prealbumin concentration measured at laboratory B, both laboratories had poor agreement for all other values of the EPH.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data indicate that plasma EPH for measuring prealbumin, α1-, α2-, β-, and γ-globulin concentrations may not be a reliable tool for assessing avian health. Small amounts of these proteins in birds plus human variation in reading the EPH curves may lead to variable results. Avian veterinarians should cautiously interpret results from plasma EPH assays for these protein fractions. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:375–378)