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Flashcards in Introduction to Biochemistry Deck (19)
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Why/how do you use biochemistry?

-used to evaluate different organ systems (liver, kidney etc.)
-measure enzymes/metabolites, electrolytes etc
-use with urinalysis and CBC
-in most cases serum is recommended but can use plasma for some tests
-anticoagulant in plasma can interfere with some tests
- use heparinised plasma for birds and reptiles due to small sample size


What is the difference between serum and plasma?

-PLASMA contains all CFs including fibrinogen. From blood collected into EDTA (haematology), heparin or citrate. Blood will not clot so need to separate plasma from cells by centrifugation. Store at 4 degrees.

-SERUM is the fluid part of the blood after clot formation. Collect blood into tubes without anticoagulant. Serum tubes have a red or brown top. Serum separator tubes with layer of gel which separates serum from cells. Allow blood to clot and remove supernatant (serum), centrifuge, serum separator tubes (gel), separate immediately if possible, store at 4 degrees.


What is looked at in a biochemistry profile?

Total protein, albumin, globulin,
anion gap
electrolytes - Na, K, Cl
urea nitrogen
SDH (large animals)
GLDH (small animals)


How do you measure total protein?

Serum or plasma (these are slightly greater and fibrinogen is included). Made of albumin and globulins.
Measure by refractometer or colorimetric method.


What do increased and decreased protein indicate? (3 each).

INCREASED: dehydration, inflammation, neoplasia
DECREASED: loss (kidney, GIT), decreased synthesis, dilution.
FALSELY INCREASED: icterus, severe hemolysis and lipaemia.


How do you measure albumin? What do increased (1) and decreased (3) levels suggest?

HOW: dye binding method. Unreliable in birds - use electrophoresis.
INCREASED: dehydration
DECREASED: increased loss (renal, haemorrhage, GIT), decreased synthesis (liver), third spacing (effusions)


How do you measure globulins? What types are there? What do increased globulins indicate? (2)

HOW: calculated (total protein-albumin=globulin)
TYPES: gamma, beta etc. Separated by electrophoresis (not routine but if looking for a specific anomlay)
INCREASE: inflammation e.g. FIP (polyclonal), neoplasia e.g plasma cell tumour (monoclonal)


How do you evaluate the liver? (3)

enzymes, metabolites, function tests


How do you evaluate the pancreas? (2)

Amylase and lipase (but from other sources too so not specific)
INCREASES: dogs with pancreatitis (4-5 times, not cats), renal insufficiency


How do you evaluate the urinary system?

Look at BOTH serum/plasma chemistry and urine collected at the same time.

Urea and creatininte both indicate glomerular filtration.


Define azotemia. Causes? (3) Diagnosis?

=Increases in nitrogenous wastes (urea and/or creatinine) in the circulation
-CAUSES: pre-renal (dehydration), renal (renal disease), post-renal (obstruction)
-DIAGNOSE: check USG (ability of kidneys to concentrate urine), compare with serum/plasma urea and creatinine. If both of urea and creatinine are increased, USG should be at least 1.030 (dog), 1.035 (cat) and 1.025 (horse/ruminant)/ If USG is less then there is decreased concentrating ability and renal failure is present.


How do you investigate renal disease in ruminants?

Use creatinine only (urea is not a reliable indicator)


What are urea levels influenced by (2)?

Protein intake (e.g. high protein meal) or GI bleeding.


Why do sodium levels change?

Main ECF ion. Along with water, levels are regulated by kidneys (the only ion to be linked so closely to water)
INCREASED: increased intake, increased water loss or decreased water intake
DECREASED: increased loss or increased water intake.


Why do potassium levels change?

Main ion in intracellular space.
Levels affected by: acid-base chages, intake, renal function.
INCREASES: renal failure, hypoadrenocrticism, leakage from cells (tissue damage, thrombocytosis/leukaemia)
DECREASES: loss (renal, vomitting, diarrhoea), decreased intake


Why do chloride levels change?

Usually coincide with changes in sodium. Changesin chloride without concurrent changes in sodum are often association with alteration in acid/base status or vomiting/abomasal displacement..
Interference from bromide/iodide salts (in detection since they are in the same group).
Look at the proportional difference between Cl adn Na - see if difference is marked.


How do you measure calcium? How is it regulated? (2)

Measure total calcium - look at free calcium (active, most important because v tightly regulated) or bound calcium (to albumin. If albumin levels decrease so will calcium).
INCREASED: if Ca is increased, check free Ca separetly to confirm.
REGULATION: PTH and calcitonin.


When do you see increased phosphorus? How is it controlled?

INCREASES: renal disease, also seen in young growing animals along with an elevated calcium and ALP.
REGULATED: PTH and calcitonin.


What is assessed in a urinalysis? (3)

-Gross appearance
-Chemical analysis (SG and urine strip)
-Sediment analysis (cellular elements, crystals, casts, others)

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