Interferences of glycerol, propylene glycol and other diols in the enzymatic assay of ethylene glycol

Laboratoire de Biochimie, Centre Hospitalier Chubert, Vannes, France.
European journal of clinical chemistry and clinical biochemistry: journal of the Forum of European Clinical Chemistry Societies (Impact Factor: 1.49). 09/1996; 34(8):651-4.
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As an alternative to gas chromatography, the enzymatic UV assay of ethylene glycol is often used by emergency laboratories. Many variants of this technique have been published, all based on the reaction between NAD(+) and ethylene glycol in the presence of glycerol dehydrogenase (EC We show that other alpha-diols interfere in this reaction. Some of them, like 2,3-butanediol, give false positive reactions; whereas other diols, e.g. glycerol and propylene glycol, interfere only when ethylene glycol is present in the sample and lower the ethylene glycol response; these interferents are of particular concern because some parenteral drugs used in emergency situations contain glycerol or propylene glycol in their vehicle. This drawback has hitherto been largely underestimated, and we think that ethylene glycol results obtained with these enzymatic techniques should be interpreted with caution, even if the sample is pre-treated with glycerokinase (EC; this pre-treatment effectively corrects the glycerol interference but not that of propylene glycol.

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    • "). Propylene glycol has also been reported as an interferent in enzyme assays for ethylene glycol (Malandain & Cano 1996; Juenke et al. 2011). Our study demonstrates that propylene glycol may be detected in patients who have ingested ethylene glycol, with iatrogenic drugs such as intravenous lorazepam or activated charcoal being common sources of propylene glycol. "
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