Thrombosis research

A method for the quantitation of protamine in plasma.

PMID 7521974


A unique and simple colorimetric method for the quantitation of plasma protamine levels has been developed. The method is established on the competitive binding displacement mechanism between protamine and heparin-azure A dye complex, and the metachromatic color change of azure A dye in the presence of heparin. Because the method is based on the clinical specificity of protamine as the heparin antagonist, it is specific for protamine quantitation. Plasma protamine levels determined by this method are within 94% of accuracy when compared with their aqueous counterparts determined by the conventional Lowry protein assay. Since the method measures the protamine excess after heparin neutralization, it potentially could be employed during clinical heparin reversal with protamine to monitor protamine excess. In addition, the method may provide a useful means to identify the mechanism of the so-called "heparin rebound".