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Determination of serum aluminum by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry: A comparison between Zeeman and continuum background correction systems

, : Determination of serum aluminum by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry: A comparison between Zeeman and continuum background correction systems. Spectrochimica Acta Part B Atomic Spectroscopy 62(3): 288-296

Excessive exposure to aluminum (Al) can produce serious health consequences in people with impaired renal function, especially those undergoing hemodialysis. At can accumulate in the brain and in bone, causing dialysis-related encephalopathy and renal osteodystrophy. Thus, dialysis patients are routinely monitored for Al overload, through measurement of their serum. Al. Electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry (ETAAS) is widely used for serum Al determination. Here, we assess the analytical performances of three ETAAS instruments, equipped with different background correction systems and heating arrangements, for the determination of serum Al. Specifically, we compare (1) a Perkin Elmer (PE) Model 3110 AAS, equipped with a longitudinally (end) heated graphite atomizer (HGA) and continuum-source (deuterium) background correction, with (2) a PE Model 4100ZL AAS equipped with a transversely heated graphite atomizer (THGA) and longitudinal Zeeman background correction, and (3) a PE Model Z5 100 AAS equipped with a HGA and transverse Zeeman background correction. We were able to transfer the method for serum Al previously established for the Z5100 and 4100ZL instruments to the 3110, with only minor modifications. As with the Zeeman instruments, matrix-matched calibration was not required for the 3110 and, thus, aqueous calibration standards were used. However, the 309.3-nm line was chosen for analysis on the 3110 due to failure of the continuum background correction system at the 396.2-nm line. A small, seemingly insignificant overcorrection error was observed in the background channel on the 3 110 instrument at the 309.3-nm line. On the 4100ZL, signal oscillation was observed in the atomization profile. The sensitivity, or characteristic mass (mo), for A] at the 309.3-nm line on the 3 110 AAS was found to be 12.1 +/- 0.6 pg, compared to 16.1 +/- 0.7 pg for the Z5 100, and 23.3 +/- 1.3 pg for the 41 00ZL at the 396.2-nm line. However, the instrumental detection limits (3 SD) for At were very similar: 3.0, 3.2, and 4.1 tg L-1 for the Z5100, 4100ZL, and 3110, respectively. Serum Al method detection limits (3 SD) were 9.8, 6.9, and 7.3 mu g L-1, respectively. Accuracy was assessed using archived serum (and plasma) reference materials from various external quality assessment schemes (EQAS). Values found with all three instruments were within the acceptable EQAS ranges. The data indicate that relatively modest ETAAS instrumentation equipped with continuum background correction is adequate for routine serum Al monitoring.


DOI: 10.1016/j.sab.2006.12.005

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