Ouabain is not detectable in human plasma.
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay is described for the measurement of ouabain in human plasma. This assay is specific for ouabain, strophanthidin, and ouabagenin, with other steroids, including digoxin and vasopressor hormones, exhibiting negligible cross-reactivity. Assay sensitivity was 0.06 nmol/L if 1 mL plasma was extracted and less than 0.005 nmol/L when 20 mL plasma was analyzed. Extracted plasma samples showed ouabainlike immunoreactivity that diluted in parallel with the ouabain standard curve. Repeated extraction and assay of single plasma samples, however, did not produce consistent results in the assay. Increased specificity was obtained by high-performance liquid chromatography of sample extracts before assay. When high-performance liquid chromatographic profiles of plasma spiked with ouabain standard or following bolus intravenous injections of ouabain into normal human volunteers were compared with profiles of unspiked plasma, there was no support for the immunoreactive material in the latter samples being ouabain. We propose that if ouabain is present in the human circulation, its concentration is less than 0.005 nmol/L.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association