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Constable, Peter; Trefz, Florian M. and Staempfli, Henry (2019): Effects of pH and the plasma or serum concentrations of total calcium, chloride, magnesium, l-lactate, and albumin on the plasma ionized calcium concentration in calves. In: Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 4: pp. 1822-1832

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Background The plasma ionized calcium concentration (cCa(2+)) represents the biologically active form of calcium and is the preferred method for evaluating calcium status in animals. Different pH-corrective equations have been developed for human plasma, but the validity of the equations for bovine plasma is unknown. Hypothesis We hypothesized that pH-corrective equations for bovine plasma would be similar to those used for human plasma;cCa(2+) was dependent on the plasma concentrations of total calcium (cTCa), chloride (cCl), L-lactate (cLactate), and albumin (cAlbumin);and the in vitro and in vivo cCa(2+)-pH relationships would differ. Animals Ten healthy calves (in vitro study), 1426 critically ill calves. Methods The in vitro plasma log(10)(cCa(2+))-pH relationship was determined by CO2 tonometry of 465 plasma samples. Plasma cCl was altered by equivolume dilution of plasma with 3 electrolyte solutions of different cCl. The in vivo plasma cCa(2+)-pH relationship was investigated and validated using clinicopathologic data extracted from the medical records of 950 (model development) and 476 (model validation) critically ill calves. Results pH-corrective equations for bovine plasma were similar to those used for human plasma. Plasma cCa(2+) increased in vitro with increases in plasma cCl. Plasma cCa(2+) in critically ill calves was associated with plasma cTCa, blood pH, plasma cCl, serum cMg, and cL-lactate (R-2 = 0.69) but not plasma cAlbumin. Conclusions and Clinical Importance Calculation of cCa(2+) from cTCa in calf plasma or serum requires adjustment for at least pH and cCl when 1 or both are outside the reference range.

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