For biochemical analysis with a point-of-care biochemical analyzer, standard procedure is to analyze the sample as rapidly as possible (<1 hour) after venipuncture to minimize any changes in analyte concentrations that might occur over time. However, under some circumstances, such as when collecting blood at remote field sites, a longer delay may be unavoidable. This study evaluates the effect of delayed analysis time under unrefrigerated conditions on avian (psittacine) biochemical analyte concentrations obtained with the VetScan VS2 using Avian/Reptilian Profile Plus rotors. Venipuncture was performed on a group of 36 psittacine birds as part of routine health checks in a research aviary (Texas A&M University, College of Veterinary Medicine, College Station, TX, USA). Whole blood was kept at room temperature and analyzed at 4 time intervals: <1, 3, 6, and 24 hours after venipuncture. At 3 hours or less after collection, most biochemical parameters changed by <2%, with the exception of phosphorus (decrease of about −9%). Major increases by 24 hours after collection were observed in phosphorus ( 67%) and potassium ( 103%) concentrations, whereas aspartate aminotransferase (AST), uric acid, glucose, and sodium concentrations also showed statistically significant changes. Our results suggest that accurate information from analyses using the VetScan VS2 may be obtained for up to 3 hours after venipuncture without refrigeration, but researchers and clinicians do need to exercise care when interpreting blood chemistry analyte concentrations obtained after multihour delays between venipuncture and sample analysis.
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