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Mösch, Martina ORCID: 0000-0002-8558-6252; Reese, Sven ORCID: 0000-0002-4605-9791; Weber, Karin; Hartmann, Katrin; Dorsch, Roswitha ORCID: 0000-0002-7508-5411 (26. December 2019): Influence of preanalytic and analytic variables in canine and feline urine specific gravity measurement by refractometer. In: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, Vol. 32, No. 1: pp. 36-43
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Abstract

Urine specific gravity (USG), which is usually measured by refractometry, is an important indicator of renal concentrating ability. Few studies have evaluated refractometers with separate scales for canine and feline urine. Variables such as protein content or storage time may influence the USG. We compared the effects of measuring USG with a refractometer with single or separate scales for canine and feline urine, investigated inter- and intra-observer variability, and measured agreement between whole urine and supernatant. We evaluated the correlation between USG and osmolality, the influence of urinary protein on USG and osmolality, and the impact of storage time up to 6 mo. We examined 252 canine and 126 feline samples. Bland–Altman analysis revealed higher USG values of the single-scale refractometer than the dual-scale refractometer, with a mean difference (bias) of < 0.001 for canine and 0.003 for feline specimens. Inter- and intra-observer variability were acceptable. Good agreement was shown between USG of whole urine and supernatant. Correlations between USG and osmolality were excellent (0.98–0.99, p < 0.001). Proteinuria up to 1 g/L had no major impact on USG or osmolality. Storage time had no significant effect on USG. The difference between the refractometers is clinically irrelevant, and the use of a refractometer with separate feline and canine scales is unnecessary. Whole urine and supernatant stored up to 6 mo can both be used for USG measurement. The influence of proteinuria <1 g/L on USG and osmolality is negligible.