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Clin Biochem. 1981 Dec;14(6):311-5.

Spectrophotometric study of several sensitive reagents for serum iron.


A comparison of three sensitive ligands for iron is described. All show varying degrees of enhancement of values by copper, an element that is the primary interference encountered in serum assays for iron. Two of three tested reagents, 2,4-bis(5,6-diphenyl-1,2,4-triazin-3-yl) pyridine tetrasulfonate and Ferene S are not current clinical chemistry choices whereas ferrozine is widely used. The described study presents spectral characterization of the copper interference with all three ligands. The virtual complete removal of this interference, by the masking actions of either thioglycolic acid, neocuproine or thiourea, is also described . Evidence will be presented that contradicts a previously proposed mechanism for the action of thioglycolic acid which suggests that copper is prevented from dissociating from its protein-binding site by this compound. The preparation of a protein-free filtrate as the matrix in which to generate the color reaction is described, and alternative procedures discussed in brief.

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