OBJECTIVE To investigate effects of storage duration and temperature on biochemical analytes in plasma from red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans).
ANIMALS 8 red-eared sliders.
PROCEDURES Blood samples were collected. Plasma was harvested and analyzed at room temperature (approx 23°C; time = 1 hour) and then fractioned into 0.1-mL aliquots that were stored at room temperature or were refrigerated (4°C) or frozen (−20°C). Biochemical analysis of stored samples was performed at 4 (room temperature), 8 (4°C), 24 (4°C), 48 (4° and −20°C), and 72 (−20°C) hours and at 7 days (−20°C). For each time point for each storage temperature, bias was calculated by subtracting values from the value obtained at 1 hour. Bias was modeled by use of a linear mixed model.
RESULTS Storage temperature had a significant effect on several plasma biochemical analytes. In general, aspartate aminotransferase activity and uric acid, total protein, and potassium concentrations increased after storage at 4° and −20°C. Differences in values after storage were mostly within the acceptable range for allowable total error, except for calcium and potassium concentrations for samples stored at −20°C. Both storage temperatures increased variability of measurement results. Results for samples stored at room temperature for 4 hours did not differ significantly from values at 1 hour. Results differed significantly between refrigerated and frozen samples stored for 48 hours.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Short-term storage conditions influenced results for some biochemical analytes. These effects should be considered when performing biochemical analyses of plasma samples obtained from red-eared sliders.