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Use of dried blood spots (DBS) – A simple and field-friendly method of collecting blood samples for the measurement of vitamin A status

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In determining vitamin A status the measurement of retinol in blood is still the most accepted method of assessment. Since the retinol level in blood is homeostatically controlled and the liver stores have to be depleted to see a decrease, serum retinol is not a perfect indicator for vitamin A status. Additionally, infection decreases the concentration of vitamin A in blood. Currently the most frequently used procedure for measuring vitamin A status is to take venous blood samples, to centrifuge them and, after freezing and transporting to the lab, to measure the retinol content in serum by HPLC. It is obvious that this is a tedious and expensive procedure. The aim of this SIGHT AND LIFE project was therefore to improve and evaluate the use of dried blood spots (DBS) for measuring the vitamin A status. The collection of DBS in the field is very simple. Only a small drop of blood from a finger prick has to be applied to filter paper and can be sent after drying by normal mail to the lab. Since retinol is protected by the retinol binding protein (RBP) from oxidation we have already shown (Erhardt 2002) that it is possible to measure the retinol content in this DBS by HPLC. A less expensive and more efficient way is to measure RBP. This correlates very well with the retinol content, can be measured by an inexpensive sandwich ELISA technique and can also be easily combined with the measurement of C-reactive protein (CRP) and alpha-1 glycoprotein (AGP) as indicators for acute and chronic infections. It also allows the correction of the retinol or RBP values in blood (Thurnham 2003).

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Key Details

Year 2005
Authors Juergen Erhardt
Language English
Keywords
DOI https://doi.org/10.52439/VMAR7414
DOI Number 10.52439/VMAR7414
ISBN
ISSN

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