Plasma protein electrophoresis of Trachemys scripta and Iguana iguana

Jaime Miguel Martorell Monserrat, Anna Maria Bassols Teixido, Merce Gimenez Genoves, Yolanda Saco Rodriguez, Raquel Pato Gonzalez, Alex Busquets

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Protein electrophoresis is widely applied in veterinary medicine, but is not used often in reptiles, in part because of lack of reference values. Objective: The goals of this study were to compare plasma protein profiles obtained by cellulose acetate electrophoresis (CAE) and agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE), measure precision and examine interference by sample hemolysis, and establish preliminary reference intervals for 2 reptile species. Methods: Heparinized plasma samples from healthy and diseased adult female Iguana iguana (n=40) and Trachemys scripta (n=60) were analyzed by CAE and AGE. Total protein concentration was measured by the biuret method. Electrophoresis results were compared using Bland-Altman plots and Passing-Bablok regression analysis. Precision and the effects of sample hemolysis were determined. Results from clinically healthy animals were used to determine reference intervals. Results: Five protein fractions were identified in both species, with bisalbuminemia observed in 23/40 iguanas. High correlation was observed between the 2 methods for all fractions, with few proportional and systematic errors. Coefficients of variation were lower using AGE vs CAE and for I. iguana vs T. scripta. Two additional bands were observed in hemolyzed samples from T. scripta; 1 additional band was observed for I. iguana. Minimum and maximum values were reported for healthy I. iguana (n=14) and T. scripta (n=22). Conclusions: Although both methods are acceptable, the performance of AGE was slightly better than that of CAE for analysis of plasma from reptiles. Furthermore, reptile electrophoretic patterns should be interpreted based on the method used, the species analyzed, and the quality of the plasma sample. ©2010 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
JournalVeterinary Clinical Pathology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • Albumin
  • Globulins
  • Method comparison
  • Plasma proteins
  • Protein electrophoresis


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