Does blood sample handling and processing affect levels of vitamin A, E, and D?


Lapinkas S, treiber K, Coslik A, Ward A. 2013. Does blood sample handling and processing affect levels of vitamin A, E, and D?. In Ward A, Coslik A, Mahan K, Treiber K, Reppert A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Salt Lake City, UT.


Proper handling of blood samples is critical for the most accurate results. Knowledge of which factors affect blood samples leads to a practical and efficient system of handling these samples. This study evaluated the effect of light, temperature, or type of blood collection tube on 25(OH) vitamin D, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol in lion blood samples. Blood samples were collected from 2 lions into serum tubes (RED) or tubes containing lithium heparin anticoagulant (GREEN). During processing (<1 h) each tube was either foil wrapped (FOIL), in a dark room without foil (DARK), or in a lighted room (LIGHT) and spent 30 min either at room temperature (20.6°C, ROOM) or in the refrigerator (7.6°C, COOL). Samples were analyzed for retinol and alpha-tocopherol by HPLC, and for 25(OH)D by radioimmunoassay. Results were rank transformed and compared by ANOVA. Light exposure did not decrease concentrations of any analyte (p>0.05). Temperature had no effect on any analyte (p>0.05). Alpha-tocopherol was higher (p=0.011) in RED tubes compared to GREEN. Retinol, alpha-tocopherol and vitamin D were higher (p<0.002) in the female lion compared to the male lion. These results indicate that wrapping blood samples in foil or processing them in the dark may be unnecessary. The difference between lions on similar diets indicates how other factors or management may influence circulating vitamin levels. Because this study was very limited in the number of samples, these results should be further validated to provide solid recommendations for handling blood samples for retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and vitamin D analysis.

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