|The purpose of this study was to assess the agreement in pH readings between a standard laboratory method and methods readily available for home monitoring. The influence of refrigerated storage on urine pH was also examined.
Urine samples were obtained by cystocentesis from 40 clinically healthy cats, and pH was measured within 2 hours of collection. Each sample was evaluated using pH paper, urinalysis reagent strip, 2 brands of portable pH meters (Chek-Mite, Corning, Corning, NY, USA; and Checker 1, Hanna Instruments, Woonsocket, RI, USA), and a standard laboratory benchtop pH meter. Urine samples were refrigerated, and a second pH reading was obtained with the laboratory benchtop meter after 24 hours. The degree of agreement was assessed among the different methods, with the laboratory benchtop pH meter as the reference method.
The closest agreement was obtained with the Chek-Mite portable pH meter and least agreement with the Checker 1 portable pH meter, which had a constant negative bias of 0.31 units due to expiration of the electrode. As expected, pH paper and reagent strips had poor and intermediate agreement, respectively. The reagent strip method had a negative bias of 0.12 units when compared with the benchtop pH meter and wide disagreement at the low pH end. The
reagent strip did not agree strongly with the reference method; only 50% of values were within 0.25 pH units of each other. The difference in pH between 0 hours (6.57 Â± 0.54) and 24 hours of refrigeration (6.61 Â± 0.53) was not considered clinically significant.
Portable pH meters are excellent for monitoring urine pH at home as long as attention is given to electrode maintenance. Urine can be collected at home and kept refrigerated, and pH may be measured reliably within 24 hours using the reference method or a portable pH meter.
Source: Raskin RE, Murray KA, Levy JK (2002): Comparison of Home Monitoring Methods for Feline Urine pH Measurement. In: Vet Clin Pathol 2002 June;31(2):51-55
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