ABL800 FLEX Now FDA-Approved for Pleural Fluid pH: New Parameter Aids in the Detection of Pleural Effusions

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Radiometer’s ABL800 FLEX Series blood gas analyzers now offer a dedicated, FDA-approved mode for measuring pH in pleural fluid (the fluid between the lungs and chest wall) to assist in the diagnosis of pleural effusions.

Radiometer’s ABL800 FLEX Series blood gas analyzers now offer a dedicated, FDA-approved mode for measuring pH in pleural fluid (the fluid between the lungs and chest wall) to assist in the diagnosis of pleural effusions.

Pleural effusions are often present in patients suffering from infections such as pneumonia and cancers, but also in patients suffering from heart failure.

The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) consensus panel on the medical and surgical management of parapneumonic effusions recommends that, as the preferred pleural fluid chemistry test for pleural effusion, pleural fluid pH should be measured on a blood gas analyzer.(1)

The use of pH meters or test strips can overestimate pleural fluid pH. This may lead to a diagnostic misclassification of the effusion, a potential underestimation of the problem and under-treatment of the condition.(2)

Measurement of pH in pleural fluid on the ABL800 FLEX has been validated per FDA guidelines. This means that, unlike an off-label application (as performed on many blood gas analyzers), labs with ABL800 FLEX will require only limited validation, saving them valuable resources. Also, because pleural fluid responds differently than whole blood, the ABL800 FLEX has a unique pH-pleura mode to ensure accuracy.

In addition to measuring pH in pleural fluid, the ABL800 FLEX measures blood gas, electrolytes, metabolites and CO-oximetry. Many of the analyzer’s key functions, including quality control and sample analysis, mixing and identification, are automated, reducing the risk of manual errors and increasing patient safety.

(1) CLSI C49-A; American College of Clinical Pharmacy
(2) Perceptions vs. Reality: Measuring of Pleural Fluid pH in North Carolina, (Bowling et al.)

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