Electrolytes play multiple roles in the maintenance of body functions such as sustaining proper body Ph, regulating function of the heart and other muscles, and participating in enzymatic functions. Electrolytic imbalances can result in congestive heart failure, diabetes insipidus, and kidney diseases. For these reasons electrolytic analysis is a key factor in patient diagnosis and treatment. Electrolyte analyzers measure electrolytes in serum, plasma and urine. Major components of an electrolyte analyzer are – reagents, electrode module, peristaltic pump, and sample probe. Automated systems feature comprehensive test menu, a high throughput as well as STAT testing.
The most common methods of analysis are – Flame Emission Photometry (FEP) and Ion Selective Electrode (ISE). Flame Photometry can be used to measure Na+, K+ and Li+. It provides an indirect measurement, while ISE methods offer direct measurements. Most analyzers use ISE technology to make electrolyte measurements.
Four models of Medica’s EasyLyte electrolyte analyzers that use ISE technology are:
- EasyLyte Na+/K+
- EasyLyte PLUS Na+/K+/Cl-
- EasyLyte Lithium Na+/K+/Li+
- EasyLyte Calcium Na+/K+/Ca++/pH
When it comes to the AVL 9180 analyzer model, this is a fully automatic system that measures sodium, potassium and chloride. Yes/ No keys in the device can perform all functions, including sample measurement data input, programming and quality control testing. The measuring chamber consists of the movable left locking device that holds the electrode in place. Three different electrodes used are sodium, potassium, chloride and a reference electrode.
Laboratories should make sure to choose an analyzer that suits their setting’s present and future testing requirements and performance needs. Also consider the degree of linearity, stability, precision and specificity of the device. Purchasing the device from a reliable laboratory equipment supplier will ensure efficient post-sales support including installation, repair and maintenance.