Point-of-care glucometry is used to measure blood glucose concentration in equine neonatal intensive care units worldwide. This study was undertaken to evaluate 3 methods of glucose evaluation in critically ill neonatal foals, which often have aberrations in glucose homeostasis. Blood glucose was measured using point-of-care glucometry (GLU), a laboratory chemistry technique (CHEM), and a multielectrode blood gas analyzer (BG). GLU determinations were consistently lower than those made using either BG or CHEM. The agreement between BG and CHEM was excellent, with a small positive bias toward BG. The study demonstrated that various methods of measurement may provide clinically important differences. This should be considered when making clinical decisions. Another important point that wasn't tested but should be kept in mind is the difference among manufacturers and even reagent test strips.

COMMENTARY: This study in equine neonates is similar to that reported in JAVMA (January 2000) in dogs. Blood glucose testing is so common in clinical practice that it is worth reading the article to note the subtle differences between the types of monitoring devices.

Agreement between point-of-care glucometry blood gas and laboratory-based measurement of glucose in an equine neonatal intensive care unit. Russell C, Palmer JE, Boston RC, et al. J VET EMERG CRIT CARE 17: 236-242, 2007.