COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Comparison of serum sodium levels measured by blood gas analyzer and biochemistry autoanalyzer in patients with hyponatremia, eunatremia, and hypernatremia.

BACKGROUND: Blood gas analyzer (BGA) electrolyte measurements are frequently used in emergency departments (EDs) pending biochemistry laboratory autoanalyzer (BLA) results. There is lack of data in the literature in terms of agreement of these 2 measurement methods of sodium. We aimed to comprehensively evaluate the agreement in hyponatremia, eunatremia, and hypernatremia groups.

METHODS: Retrospectively, adult subjects who presented to ED of a tertiary care teaching hospital and had simultaneous BGA and BLA results were included in the study. Blood pairs were grouped into hyponatremia, eunatremia, and hypernatremia according to BLA results. Agreement of sodium measurements between the methods were evaluated by Bland-Altman plots and Passing and Bablok regression analysis.

RESULTS: A total of 2557 blood pairs (1326 males [51.8%]) were included. Median age of the patients was 66 years (18-103). The numbers of patients with hyponatremia, eunatremia, and hypernatremia were 487 (19%), 1943 (76%), and 127 (5%), respectively. The minimum and maximum serum sodium levels measured by biochemistry analyzer were 106 and 171 mmol/L, respectively. The Pearson linear correlation coefficient between BGA and BLA for sodium measurements were 0.574, 0.358, and 0.562 in hyponatremia, eunatremia, and hypernatremia groups, respectively. The absolute mean difference for the 3 groups was greater than 4 mmol/L. Biochemistry laboratory autoanalyzer tended to measure serum sodium higher than BGA in all sodium groups. Passing and Bablok regression analysis showed significant differences between the 2 methods in all sodium groups.

CONCLUSION: This is the first comprehensive evaluation of agreement between BGA and BLA in distinct sodium groups. Significant differences should be taken into account when these patients are managed in the ED.

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