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To the Editor:—
We should like to call attention to the problem of calcium analysis in samples of serum and urine from patients being treated with edathamil (EDTA) for the removal of metastatic calcium deposits. The presence of edathamil-calcium complex in these samples interferes with the precipitation of calcium as calcium oxalate as this is commonly carried out in many laboratories. We recently studied a patient being treated with edathamil and were able to solve this problem by acidification of the samples to a pH between 3.0 and 5.0 after addition of the oxalate. There are other ways to solve the technical problem of analysis. The important fact is that, unless the physician notifies his laboratory that the patient is receiving edathamil, erroneous analytic results will be reported and may well not be recognized as such.
Carr MH, Frank HA. EDATHAMIL (EDTA)-TREATED PATIENTS. JAMA. 1956;160(14):1258. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960490072026
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