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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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Volume 48, Issue 5 (May 2010)


Retinol potentiates the inhibitory effect of ascorbic acid on uric acid assay

Damien Bouvier
  • Department of Biochemistry, Clermont-Ferrand Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
/ Vincent Sapin
  • Department of Biochemistry, Clermont-Ferrand Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
/ Michèle Bonnard-Gougeon
  • Neurological Intensive Care Unit, Clermont-Ferrand Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
/ Geoffroy Marceau
  • Department of Biochemistry, Clermont-Ferrand Teaching Hospital, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Published Online: 2010-03-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.132


Background: The interference of ascorbic acid in the determination of plasma uric acid concentrations, by decreasing the formation of chromophore in Trinder's reaction, is well known. By contrast, the effects of other antioxidant vitamins, such as retinol and α-tocopherol have not been investigated. Knowledge of the analytical interaction of these antioxidants in the uric acid assay would be useful.

Methods: The effect of a mix of vitamins (Cernevit®) on uric acid analysis in a patient hospitalized in a neurological intensive care unit was observed. The effects of the different antioxidant components of the mixture (retinol, α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid) on the concentration of uric acid from a pool of plasma were also tested.

Results: Among the different combinations of vitamins tested, only retinol potentiated the antioxidant effect of ascorbic acid. The most marked effect was observed with 80 IU/mL of retinol and 5.7 mmol/L of ascorbic acid.

Conclusions: We demonstrate for the first time the synergistic interference of ascorbic acid and retinol on the measurement of uric acid in plasma. We established that ascorbic acid interference is potentiated by regeneration of reduced ascorbic acid by retinol. Such interference must be kept in mind to avoid misinterpreting low plasma uric acid concentrations in patients in whom this analyte is critical.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:693–5.

Keywords: ascorbic acid; retinol; Trinder's reaction; uric acid

About the article

Corresponding author: Prof. Vincent Sapin, Laboratoire de Biochimie Médicale, Centre de Biologie, CHU Gabriel-Montpied, Rue Montalembert, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France Phone: +33 4 73 75 18 00, Fax: +33 4 73 75 18 55,

Received: 2009-10-04

Accepted: 2009-12-25

Published Online: 2010-03-11

Published in Print: 2010-05-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.132. Export Citation

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