A new method for the detection of hyperammonemia, using a kit based on the principle of microdiffusion of ammonia, is described. The method requires only one drop of blood and takes only 15 min to complete. Experiments for recovery and reproducibility were satisfactory, and good correlation was obtained when compared with an enzymatic method for blood ammonia determination. The new method is considered to be useful for routine, low-cost mass-screening of newborn infants for hyperammonemia. It will also be useful for monitoring blood ammonia levels at the bedside in cases with hepatic disease or receiving parenteral nutrition.
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