Endotoxemia is commonly reported in patients receiving haemodialysis and implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic inflammation. The Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate (LAL) assay is the most commonly used blood endotoxin detection assay. Two kinetic variations of the assay are commercially available – the turbidimetric and chromogenic assay, it is unknown which assay is superior for endotoxin detection in uremic patients. Selection of the optimum LAL technique for endotoxin detection in haemodialysis patients is important to further understanding of the sequela of endotoxemia and development of endotoxin-lowering strategies in this population.
A turbidimetric and chromogenic LAL assay from the same manufacturer were directly compared. We investigated the ability of both LAL assays to detect endotoxin in uremic plasma. Plasma samples from haemodialysis patients and healthy controls were spiked with endotoxin and percentage spike recovery for the chromogenic and turbidimetric assay was determined. Assay accuracy and precision were compared between both LAL assays.
The turbidimetric assay had greater accuracy than the chromogenic assay. Spike recovery was 113.8 % vs. 53.8 % for the turbidimetric and chromogenic assay respectively. Assay bias was higher in the chromogenic assay (−0.384EU/mL vs. 0.011EU/mL). The turbidimetric assay demonstrated greater precision compared to the chromogenic assay. Coefficient of variation ranged from 4.5 to 24.1 % for the turbidimetric assay and 25.8–26.5 % for the chromogenic assay.
The study findings suggest that the kinetic turbidimetric LAL assay has greater accuracy and precision than the chromogenic assay and is the optimum LAL technique for endotoxin detection in haemodialysis patients, though these findings should be verified using LAL reagents from other sources.