Avian plasma chemistry analysis using diluted samples

Jennifer Waldoch, Raymund Wack, Mary M Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Clinical chemistry tests are essential for the diagnosis and monitoring of disease in birds. The small volume of blood that can be obtained from many avian species limits the use of routine in-house chemistry analyzers. The aim of this study was to examine the accuracy and precision of avian plasma chemistry values obtained by use of a benchtop analyzer in samples diluted with sterile water, as compared with undiluted samples. Whole blood samples were collected from 13 clinically healthy thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha). The samples were placed in lithium heparin tubes and centrifuged and the plasma decanted. One aliquot was analyzed immediately using a VetScan benchtop analyzer with an avian-reptilespecific rotor that included 12 analytes. The remainder of the plasma was divided into two aliquots and stored at -80°C until analysis. One of these aliquots was diluted 1:1, 1:1.5, 1:2, and 1:2.5 with sterile water to give final dilutions of 1:2, 1:2.5, 1:3, and 1:3.5, respectively. The other aliquot was pooled with the 12 other samples to create a plasma pool. The undiluted plasma pool and two final dilutions (1:2 and 1:3) of the pooled plasma were analyzed in replicate (n = 20) to determine intra- and interassay imprecision. Each dilution was analyzed using the avian-reptile rotor and the results multiplied by the appropriate dilution factor to obtain the final result. Significant differences were observed in clinical chemistry results obtained from diluted plasma samples for all analytes except aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, and glucose. Uric acid concentration was not significantly different at dilutions of up to 1:3. Bile acids, globulins, and sodium concentrations were below the limit of detection in all diluted samples and were not statistically analyzed. Based on these results, dilution with sterile water is not recommended for biochemical analysis of avian plasma using the VetScan benchtop analyzer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-674
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Avian
  • Biochemistry profile
  • Dilution
  • Plasma
  • Thick-billed parrot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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