A continuous method for the estimation of adenosine deaminase catalytic concentration in pleural effusions with a Hitachi 705 discrete analyser

J Clin Chem Clin Biochem. 1985 Oct;23(10):677-82. doi: 10.1515/cclm.1985.23.10.677.


An assay of adenosine deaminase activity in pleural effusions is described. For the continuous determination of adenosine deaminase, the liberated ammonia is estimated by coupling the liberated NH3 with 2-oxoglutarate. The reaction is followed by the decrease of NADH absorbance at 340 nm. The assay was optimized for a Hitachi 705 analyser, with respect to pH, adenosine concentration and glutamate dehydrogenase activity. The assay is linear to an adenosine deaminase catalytic concentration of 110 U/l. Elevated adenosine deaminase activities are found in pleural effusions of patients with tuberculosis, empyema and mesothelioma. Although elevated adenosine deaminase activity in pleural effusion is not pathognomonic for tuberculosis, it may be valuable as a first screening parameter.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Deaminase / metabolism*
  • Autoanalysis
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Kinetics
  • NAD / analysis
  • Nucleoside Deaminases / metabolism*
  • Pleural Effusion / enzymology*
  • Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet / methods


  • NAD
  • Nucleoside Deaminases
  • Adenosine Deaminase