Phospholipases as Clinical Tools: Measurement
The round table discussion of the use of phospholipases with particular reference to phospholipases A2 as clinical tools in the diagnosis of septicaemia and other inflammatory diseases began with a comparison of the methods available for determining the enzyme in biological fluids particularly serum or plasma. Three methods are currently in routine use in specialist laboratories, two of which measure enzyme activity either by the use of a fluorescent substrate or by determining released fatty acids using a commercially available enzymic reagent. The third assay is a monoclonal antibody based immunoassay for the enzyme protein. Data presented by Professor Nevalainen showing that acute pancreatitis is accompanied by an elevation in the serum concentration of type II-phospholipase A2 protein provided convincing evidence of the usefulness of the latter method. It was strongly enforcised that the measurement of plasma phospholipase A2 for diagnostic purposes is a highly specialised task and should only be undertaken in competent laboratories as no quality control is currently available.