Volume 49, Issue 2 (March 2004)
Hyaluronidase as a Liquefying Agent for Chemical Analysis of Vitreous Fluid
Vitreous humor is a suitable specimen for postmortem clinical chemistry because the analytes remain relatively stable after death and they closely reflect blood levels immediately prior to death. The viscous nature of vitreous fluid, however, presents analytical problems including imprecision and inaccuracy. Various preanalytical treatments, such as boiling, high speed centrifugation, microfiltration and dilution have been used. These techniques are labor intensive and add to imprecision and inaccuracy. Because glycosaminoglycans contribute significantly to the viscosity of vitreous humor, we used hyaluronidase as a liquefying agent.We compared the results of analyses in 33 vitreous humor specimens after hyaluronidase treatment with the results after either no treatment or specimen dilution. Seventeen of the 33 specimens could not be analyzed without dilution. Even after dilution, several analytes still could not be measured. Hyaluronidase treatment negated the need for sample dilution and had no significant effect on the analyses.