Previous studies have defined the presence of 6 protein fractions in plasma from many psittaciform species. Additionally, extensive reference intervals have been published for many of these species with the Beckman Paragon electrophoresis system, which had been commonly used in clinical laboratories to analyze the protein fractions of avian plasma. In mid-2009, Beckman discontinued the Paragon product line, leaving 2 primary alternative systems: Helena and Sebia. To compare electrophoresis results from the 3 commercial protein electrophoresis systems, specimens from 40 African grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus) were analyzed with the electrophoresis systems from Beckman, Helena, and Sebia. Marked differences in fraction migration were found between the Beckman/Helena and Sebia systems, which manifested as a large decrease in prealbumin and an increase in α1 globulins in the latter system. Both proportional and constant errors were observed among the fraction quantitation data of both the Helena and Sebia systems compared with the Beckman system. Based on Bland-Altman plot data and imprecision studies, the Helena system appears more similar with the Beckman system, although neither the Helena nor the Sebia systems are identical to the Beckman system. Because of the differences in electrophoresis methods, clinicians should be careful to consistently use particular clinical laboratories. For best application, reference intervals should be established based on both species and electrophoresis system.
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