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Evaluation of Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium in Biological Samples (Scalp Hair, Serum, Blood, and Urine) of Pakistani Referents and Arthritis Patients of Different Age Groups by Hassan Imran Afridi, Tasneem Gul Kazi, Naveed Kazi, Abdul Qadir Shah, Sumaira Khan, Nida Fatima Kolachi, Sham Kumar Wadhwa, Faheem Shah

Background: Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease resulting in joint inflammation (particularly joints of hands, wrists, feet, knees, ankles, and shoulder) that is manifested by swelling and functional impairment.
Methods: This study was designed to compare the levels of calcium (Ca), magnesium (mg), potassium (K), and sodium (Na) in four biological samples (scalp hair, serum, blood, and urine) of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as compared to referent subjects of both genders who do have not arthritis problems. All patients and referents were divided in two age groups, (46-60) and (61-75) years. A microwave assisted wet acid digestion procedure was used for acid digestion of biological samples. The digests of all biological samples were analysed for Ca, Mg, K, and Na by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS). The proposed method was validated by using conventional wet digestion of the same sub samples and certified reference samples of hair, serum, blood, and urine.
Results: The results indicated significantly lower levels of Ca, Mg, and K in the biological samples (blood, serum, and scalp hair) of male and female rheumatoid arthritis patients when compared to referents of both genders, whereas the levels of Na were found to be high in blood and urine samples of patients as compared to nonrheumatic referents.
Conclusions: These data represent a guide for clinicians and other professionals who will be investigating the deficiency of essential micronutrients in biological samples (scalp hair, serum, and blood) of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2012;58:7-18