The sulphonylureas act mainly by augmenting insulin secretion and consequently are effective only when some residual pancreatic beta-cell activity is present; during; long-term administration they also have an extra-pancreatic action. All may lead to hypoglycaemia 4 hours or more after food but this is usually an indication of overdose, and is relatively uncommon.
The qualitative analysis of plasma or urine for the presence of sulphonylurea drugs is a specific investigation and is performed when requested or when the drug history of the patient indicates the possibility of sulphonylurea ingestion.
The follow compounds can be detected using this method:
As this test is primarily used for the investigation of unexplained recurrent or profound hypoglycaemia and to aid the differential diagnosis of insulinoma, the patient should be hypoglycaemic (i.e. venous plasma glucose of < 3 mmol/L and symptomatic).
This is a screening test for the presence of sulphonylureas in plasma or urine. As such, we will report results as Positive or Negative for the drugs listed above. All can be detected reliably at concentrations of 0.5 mg/L in urine and plasma.
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The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database http://www.heftpathology.com/frontpage/test-database.html.
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.
For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235