The correlation of potassium content and moisture in bovine liver samples analyzed for trace mineral concentrations

Taylor P. Ludwick, Robert H Poppenga, Peter G. Green, Birgit Puschner, Larry A. Melton, Bruce R. Hoar, Nicole L. Nyberg, John Maas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Beef cattle in the United States are often found to be deficient in essential trace minerals such as copper and zinc. Established reference ranges for mineral concentrations exist and usually designate a concentration as adequate, marginal, deficient, or excessive. This research investigates a new method of interpreting detected elemental concentrations in bovine liver that will add confidence to the final diagnosis. This is based on the hypothesis that a correlation exists between potassium concentration and moisture in a bovine liver sample. This relationship between potassium and moisture content enables the diagnostician to more accurately predict mineral concentrations and wet weight regardless of sample moisture loss. Correlations were found between potassium content and percentage of moisture in experimental samples, clinical biopsies, and a validation study, to a statistical significance of P < 0.001. Experimental samples had a correlation coefficient of R2 = 0.95 and the mathematical relationship y = 2513.2x-1.0662. Clinical biopsies had a correlation of R2 = 0.83 and the mathematical relationship y = 2203.4x-0.991. The validation study had a correlation of R 2 = 0.55 and a mathematical relationship y = 2321.4x -0.952. An exponent of -1 is predicted by conservation of potassium mass. These findings have practical significance in maintaining and improving cattle growth, health, reproduction, and food safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)314-320
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2008


  • Cattle
  • Liver
  • Minerals
  • Moisture
  • Potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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