Evaluation of the Randox colorimetric serum copper and zinc assays against atomic absorption spectroscopy

This version was published on 1 July 2009

Ann Clin Biochem 2009;46:322-326
© 2009 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Original Articles

Jeffrey M Beckett,
Thomas F Hartley and
Madeleine J Ball

School of Human Life Sciences, Locked Bag 1320, University of Tasmania, Launceston TAS 7250, Australia

Corresponding author: Jeffrey M Beckett. Email: jbeckett{at}utas.edu.au

Background: Analysis of copper and zinc in serum is commonly performed usingatomic absorption spectrometry (AAS); however, these methodsare often not readily available in smaller laboratories. Randoxcolorimetric assays for copper and zinc in serum were evaluatedon the Thermo Electron Data Pro analyser against flame AAS methods.

Methods: Copper and zinc were measured in 48 serum samples using the Randox colorimetric copper (CU2340) and zinc (ZN2341) assays on the Data Pro analyser and the results compared with those from a Varian Spectra 880 atomic absorption spectrometer. A smaller set of samples (n = 15) were also analysed colorimetricallyfor zinc on the Roche Cobas Mira.

Results: Linear regression analyses of Bland and Altman plots from the Data Pro – AAS comparison gave the following results for copper: correlation r = 0.6669 (P < 0.01), slope = –0.2499 (P < 0.01), intercept = 3.219 (P < 0.01). For zinc, results were as follows: correlation r = 0.1976, slope = 0.1807, intercept = –1.922. For the smaller set of samples, the Cobas Mira – AAS comparison for zinc gave correlation r = 0.4379,slope = 0.5294, intercept = –4.074. The results indicatedsignificant systematic and fixed bias between the colorimetriccopper and the AAS method.

Conclusion: Performances in comparison to AAS methods indicated the colorimetricmethods, as used, are unsuitable for the accurate determinationof copper and zinc in human serum.

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