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The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health

Comparison of colorimetry and electrothermal atomic absorption spectroscopy for the quantification of non-transferrin bound iron in human sera.


PMID 15916113

Abstract

This paper describes a comparison of two analytical techniques, one employing bathophenanthrolinedisulfonate (BPT), a most commonly-used reagent for Fe (II) determination, as chromogen and an electrothermal atomic absorption spectroscopy (ETAAS) for the quantification of non-transferrin bound iron (NTBI) in sera from thalassemic patients. Nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) was employed as the ligand for binding iron from low molecular weight iron complexes present in the serum but without removing iron from the transferrin protein. After ultrafiltration the Fe (III)-NTA complex was then quantified by both methods. Kinetic study of the rate of the Fe (II)-BPT complex formation for various excess amounts of NTA ligand was also carried out. The kinetic data show that a minimum time duration (> 60 minutes) is necessary for complete complex formation when large excess of NTA is used. Calibration curves given by colorimetric and ETAAS methods were linear over the range of 0.15-20 microM iron (III). The colorimetric and ETAAS methods exhibited detection limit (3sigma) of 0.13 and 0.14 microM, respectively. The NTBI concentrations from 55 thalassemic serum samples measured employing BPT as chromogen were statistically compared with the results determined by ETAAS. No significant disagreement at 95% confidence level was observed. It is, therefore, possible to select any one of these two techniques for determination of NTBI in serum samples of thalassemic patients. However, the colorimetric procedure requires a longer analysis time because of a slow rate of exchange of NTA ligand with BPT, leading to the slow rate of formation of the colored complex.