Effects of bilirubin configurational photoisomers on the measurement of direct bilirubin by the vanadate oxidation method

Kawamoto, S.; Koyano, K.; Ozaki, M.; Arai, T.; Iwase, T.; Okada, H.; Itoh, S.; Murao, K.; Kusaka, T.

Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 58(4): 311-317


ISSN/ISBN: 1758-1001
PMID: 33588585
DOI: 10.1177/0004563221999068
Accession: 071637610

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Direct-reacting bilirubin concentrations measured using vanadate chemical oxidation method do not exactly match the conjugated bilirubin concentration. One of the causes is the effect of bilirubin photoisomers. However, the quantitative evaluation of the effects of these photoisomers has not been sufficiently conducted. In particular, the influence of bilirubin configurational isomers on direct bilirubin is the most critical factor. Sixteen residual serum samples were used. For quantitative analysis based on the change in direct bilirubin and bilirubin configurational isomer, samples were irradiated via blue light-emitting diodes to suppress the production of bilirubin structural isomers. Total bilirubin and direct bilirubin concentrations were measured using the vanadate chemical oxidation method. Concentrations of 4Z,15Z-bilirubin IXα and its photoisomers were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. The sum of 4Z,15E-bilirubin IXα and 4E,15Z-bilirubin IXα was notated as bilirubin configurational isomer, and the differences between the measured values of the irradiated and non-irradiated samples were calculated and notated as ΔDB and ΔBCI. In non-irradiated and irradiated samples, total bilirubin and direct bilirubin concentrations were 10.73 mg/dL with significant a decrease to 10.60 mg/dL and 0.69 mg/dL with a significant increase to 0.78 mg/dL, while bilirubin configurational isomer values were 1.00 mg/dL and 1.52 mg/dL, respectively. The linear regression equation revealed a significant positive correlation of Y = 0.187X-0.006 between ΔDB (Y) and ΔBCI (X). Applying the vanadate chemical oxidation method affected approximately 19% of the bilirubin configurational isomer concentration for direct bilirubin. Extreme caution is necessary when interpreting the measured values of samples indicative of unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia.