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Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 1998 May-Jun;56(3):305-19.

[Evaluation of lipid peroxidation by measuring thiobarbituric acid reactive substances].

[Article in French]

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Service de biochimie, Hôpital Tenon, Paris.


Malondialdehyde assay is the most generally used test in the appreciation of the role of oxidative stress in disease. Malondialdehyde is one of several products formed during the radical induced decomposition of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Most often, malondialdehyde assay used its reactivity at high temperature and low pH, towards thiobarbituric acid. This reaction is very sensitive but its specificity, even with improvement of pre-analytical (sampling, preservatives), and analytical stages (fluorescence, HPLC) is still a matter of debate. At present, the concept of "thiobarbituric acid reactive substances" (TBARS) have merged and progressively replaced the initial malondialdehyde assay. In this review, we presented the main results concerning the assays of TBARS and malondialdehyde in blood and different biological medium. In the future, oxidative stress appreciation will need the precise analytical determination of different molecules triggered by free radicals. The TBARS assay should be considered as a global test, allowing a global approach of lipoperoxidation whereas specific determination of malondialdehyde can only appreciate one of the end-product formed during oxidative stress.

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