Effect of sample type, and timing of assay, on feline blood potassium concentration

D A Gunn-Moore, N Reed, K E Simpson, E M Milne

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Blood samples were collected from 41 cats presented for pre-anaesthetic assessments, routine geriatric screening, or re-assessment of ongoing chronic medical disorders. Samples were either left to clot or anticoagulated with lithium heparin, then assessed for their potassium concentration within I h of collection, and again after remaining in contact with their cell pellet for 48 h. There was a significantly higher potassium concentration in the serum samples compared to the plasma samples, both in the basal and 48-h samples (although this difference was most marked in the basal samples). Ageing of both serum and plasma samples also resulted in an increase in the potassium concentration when compared with the basal values for each sample type. The mean difference (basal serum minus basal plasma) in potassium concentration was 0.47 mmol/l. While it is probable that the potassium came from either leukocytes and/or thrombocytes the mean total leukocyte count and the mean thrombocyte count were below the upper limit of the reference intervals for our laboratory and the rise in the potassium level did not appear to be directly related to either of these values. (C) 2006 ESFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


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