Validation of a rapid, automated method for the measurement of ethylene glycol in human plasma.

Robson, Anna F, Lawson, Alexander J, Lewis, Laura, Jones, Alan and George, Stephen (2016) Validation of a rapid, automated method for the measurement of ethylene glycol in human plasma. Annals of clinical biochemistry. ISSN 1758-1001.

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Ethylene glycol is a highly toxic compound found in various household products. Cases of poisoning are rare but may be fatal unless diagnosed and treated promptly. Early recognition of poisoning is critical for the management and recovery of patients. Indirect testing is not specific for the presence of ethylene glycol. Therefore, urgent and accurate measurement should be sought if ingestion is suspected in order to determine the need for treatment with an antidote. Here, we present the validation of an automated assay for measurement of ethylene glycol on an Abbott Architect using a commercially available kit (Catachem).


Analytical parameters of imprecision, linearity, stability and bias were determined using spiked human plasma samples processed on both the Catachem assay and on an in-house gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. Interference was assessed using samples collected into a variety of sample collection tubes and spiked with a number of alcohols.


Excellent agreement was observed between the two methodologies with the enzymatic assay demonstrating linearity and precision across the relevant clinical range (50-3000 mg/L). In addition, the Catachem assay displayed no interference from a number of different sample tubes and alcohols. However, propylene glycol interference was observed at concentrations associated with excessive use (>1 g/L) and 2,3-butanediol interference observed at concentrations associated with butanone ingestion. Inspection of the enzymatic reaction profile was found to differentiate between alcohols.


This automated assay is suitable for the diagnosis of ethylene glycol poisoning and is now in routine use, enabling the laboratory to provide a rapid 24 h service with support by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as necessary.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QV Pharmacology
Divisions: Clinical Support > Pathology
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Depositing User: Mrs Adele Creak
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 15:29
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 15:29

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