An investigation of enzymatic creatinine interference in a patient receiving dopamine and dobutamine

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3 Scopus citations


Background: A laboratory investigation was initiated after a renal failure patient had a 2.18 mg/dL decrease in serum creatinine, which was not explained through medical intervention. The investigation revealed specimens providing questionably low results had been collected from a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line. Methods: Patient specimens and serum pools were analyzed by the Siemens Vista enzymatic creatinine measurement procedure. A simulation of the patient's infusion protocol examined potential PICC line carryover and specimen collection technique. Results: A simultaneously collected specimen set, arterial line and PICC line, yielded a difference of 1.86 mg/dL. Infusion and collection simulation studies suggested the most likely scenario was the infusion pump was not shut off while the specimen collection occurred and contaminated the specimen. Conclusion: Providers should be aware of erroneously low creatinine results when administering catecholamine drugs and collecting specimens through the same catheter. The mechanism of specimen contamination is consistent with a siphoning effect from one lumen to the other during collection with the infusion pumps still running.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-117
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Biochemistry
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Dobutamine
  • Dopamine
  • Enzymatic creatinine
  • Line draw
  • Negative interference

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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