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Clin Biochem. 2015 Feb;48(3):135-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2014.11.012. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Simplified sample preparation in the simultaneous measurement of whole blood antimony, bismuth, manganese, and zinc by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

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ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA. Electronic address:
ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA; University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.



We developed and validated a simplified sample preparation for the analysis of antimony (Sb), bismuth (Bi), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn) in whole blood. This simplification included a reduction in sample volume, removal of a lengthy acidic digestion, and optimization of the internal standard.


Measurement of Sb, Bi, Mn and Zn in whole blood was conducted using inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry. Method performance characteristics, including intra- and inter-assay imprecision, accuracy, linearity, AMR, sensitivity, carryover, sample stability and assay stability were determined in accordance with clinical laboratory standards. In addition, analytical and clinical recoveries were assessed to investigate comparability between goat blood matrix and pooled patient blood.


Established assay performance characteristics included inter- and intra-assay imprecision <4.5% and carryover of <0.04% for all four elements, analytical measurement range of 1 to 25 μg/L (Sb and Bi), 1 to 80 μg/L (Mn), and 50 to 1500 μg/dL (Zn), limit of quantification of 1 μg/L (Sb, Bi, Mn) and 50 μg/dL (Zn) (coefficient of variation <14%), proportional bias of 0.96 and constant bias of -0.28 (Sb), 0.94 and -0.45 (Bi), 1.07 and -0.37 (Mn) and 0.96 and +18.05 (Zn) based upon repeat patient samples, proficiency testing samples, and comparison to an outside reference laboratory.


This method overcomes the laborious acidic heat digestion previously used and replaces it with a simplified sample preparation involving an alkaline dilution. The method requires minimal sample preparation with the dilution of alkaline diluent and is validated to quantify Sb and Bi from 1 to 25 μg/L, Mn from 1 to 80 μg/L, and Zn from 50 to 1500 μg/dL in whole blood.


Antimony; Bismuth; ICP-MS; Manganese; Whole blood; Zinc

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