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N Z Vet J. 2015 Sep;63(5):254-9. doi: 10.1080/00480169.2014.1002553. Epub 2015 Jun 8.

Comparison of specific gravity analysis of feline and canine urine, using five refractometers, to pycnometric analysis and total solids by drying.

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  • 1a Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences , Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences , Tjalinge 29, Vange , Sweden.

Abstract

AIMS:

To compare the performance of five refractometers for determination of urine specific gravity in cats and dogs, with reference to weight of total solids and pycnometer analysis.

METHODS:

Urine samples from 27 cats and 31 dogs submitted for routine urinalysis were included. Urine specific gravity was determined with five refractometers. Four were optical, hand-held refractometers with a temperature compensation method and one was a digital model. Urine was dried to determine the precise weight of total solids. The total solids (g/L) were converted to an estimated specific gravity by division with 2.33. Urine specific gravity of four feline and seven canine samples were analysed with a pycnometer. Limits of agreement analysis was used to evaluate the agreement between specific gravity (analysed as specific gravity minus 1) measured by the refractometers and estimated from dried total solids, or pycnometer results.

RESULTS:

The five refractometers reported clearly different results from each other. Proportional negative bias was noted for refractometer results compared to estimated specific gravity from total solids and a constant negative bias compared to pycnometer results. The two refractometers designed for cat urine reported similar and lowest specific gravity results with a mean negative bias of 0.007 and 0.008 units compared to estimated specific gravity from total solids, and a mean negative bias of 0.006 units compared to pycnometer results.

CONCLUSIONS:

Refractometer results did not increase consistently with increasing urine specific gravity compared to reference methods or to other refractometers. Two feline refractometers reported consistently lower specific gravity results than reference methods and other refractometers.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Because of this imprecision, veterinarians should not use precise cut off values such as 1.030 or 1.035 for evaluation of renal concentrating ability in dogs and cats. Veterinarians should consider the variability of refractometric specific gravity results in their clinical assessment. Two feline refractometers appeared to report falsely low specific gravity results.

KEYWORDS:

Urine specific gravity; cats; dogs; pycnometer; refractometer; total solids

PMID:
25625320
DOI:
10.1080/00480169.2014.1002553
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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