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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1986 Mar;60(3):1082-8.

Method of high-precision microsample blood and plasma mass densitometry.


The reliability of the mechanical oscillator technique (MOT) for blood and plasma mass density measurements on small samples is quantified in this paper. Sources of measurement errors that can reduce both the accuracy and precision of density determinations include storage of plasma samples, inhomogeneity of blood samples, and density reading before adequate temperature equilibration. Measurements on fractions from identical samples and repeated samplings from test subjects under steady-state conditions revealed a 10(-2) g/l reproducibility of density readings. The mean plasma density (PD) readings did not change significantly after up to 1-wk storage at +4 degrees C or up to 2 mo storage at -20 degrees C. The variability of the PD findings increased with storage time and were generally higher with storage at -20 degrees C, compared with +4 degrees C. Densitometers of different sizes were used to evaluate rheological influences on blood density (BD) readings. Linear correlations between PD and plasma protein concentration, between BD and blood hemoglobin concentration, and between erythrocyte density and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were significant (P less than 0.001). Rapid density measurements with up to 10(-2) g/l reliability on small (less than 0.1 ml) volumes of biological fluids and continuous blood densitometry can be performed with use of the MOT.

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