OBJECTIVE To investigate the use of canine whole blood (WB) for measurement of ammonia concentration by use of a point-of-care ammonia meter and to compare results of measuring ammonia concentrations in WB, EDTA-anticoagulated WB, and plasma.
ANIMALS 40 client-owned dogs.
PROCEDURES A blood sample (2 mL) was obtained from each dog. One drop of WB was immediately applied to a test strip for evaluation with an ammonia meter. The remainder of the blood sample was placed in an EDTA-containing tube, and 1 drop of EDTA-anticoagulated WB was applied to a test strip. The remaining EDTA-anticoagulated WB sample was centrifuged, and the plasma was harvested and placed on ice. One drop of plasma was applied to a test strip; the remainder of the plasma sample was transported on ice and used for ammonia measurement with a reference laboratory instrument. All samples were tested within 1 hour after sample collection. Results were evaluated to detect significant differences in ammonia concentration.
RESULTS Ammonia concentrations did not differ significantly between WB and EDTA-anticoagulated WB and between plasma samples measured with the meter and reference laboratory instrument. However, median ammonia concentration was significantly higher in plasma than in WB or EDTA-anti-coagulated WB.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Anticoagulant-free WB was a valid sample for measurement by use of the ammonia meter. Plasma samples had higher ammonia concentrations than did WB samples. Results for each sample type should be interpreted by use of specimen- and method-specific reference intervals.