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The Poison Pen: Bedside Diagnosis of Urinary Diquat

  • Author(s): Vohra, Rais
  • Salazar, Anthony
  • Cantrell, F. L.
  • Fernando, Ravindra
  • Clark, Richard F.
  • et al.
Abstract

Diquat is a bipyridyl herbicide with nephrotoxic effects. This in vitro study demonstrates a colorimetric test for detection of diquat in human urine. Urine specimens using ten concentrations of diquat herbicide solution and controls for urine and glyphosate were prepared. A two-step assay (addition of bicarbonate followed by sodium dithionite) was performed, with a resulting color change of the original solution for each specimen. Color change intensity was noted immediately and after 30 min, by gross visual inspection. A green color with concentration-dependent intensity was detected in all specimens, in which concentrations of diquat solution ranged from 0.73 to 730 mg/L. This colorimetric effect disappeared after 30 min. The sodium bicarbonate/dithionite test may be useful as a qualitative bedside technique for the detection of urinary diquat in the appropriate clinical setting.

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