The Complete Solution to Cardiac Risk Assessment
“CVDs are the number 1 cause of death globally: more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause”. In 2015, roughly 17.7 million people died from CVD, representing 31% of all global deaths: 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million were due to stroke. (WHO, 2017)
Cardiac health and regular cardiovascular screening is important to enable risk factors to be detected in their earliest stages. There are a few factors which contribute to CVD. These include: smoking, unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol consumption, low physical activity levels. Whilst there are only a few factors contributing to CVD, these can be maintained by the patient through living a healthy lifestyle including: quitting smoking, consuming no more than the recommended allowance of alcohol, cutting out junk food, and exercising for 30 minutes a day, 3 – 5 days a week. In a perfect world, this would be easy and CVD would not be a global problem. However, due to busy lifestyles, cravings, reduced willpower, and convenience, not all individuals in today’s world will be able to avoid CVDs. Therefore, it is vitally important that individuals are tested for CVDs to detect them in the earliest stages to reduce damage, prevent further damage, or even death. Furthermore, many individuals suffer from inherited cardiac risk factors, which stresses the need for accurate testing of both traditional and novel cardiac risk biomarkers.
Randox offer the complete solution to cardiac risk assessment including: RX analysers, traditional and novel reagents, internal quality control (Acusera), and external quality control (RIQAS).
Randox has developed the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers for high-quality semi-automated and fully automated testing. Choose between the RX misano, RX monaco, RX daytona+, RX imola, and the RX modena depending on the throughput of your laboratory. The RX series offers a suitable analyser for your laboratory’s needs. For more information on the Randox RX series, please click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
As previously mentioned, early assessment of cardiac risk is vital. Randox offer a range of novel risk biomarkers for both very early and the genetic assessment of cardiac risk.
The niche Adiponectin assay allows for the early assessment of CVD. Adiponectin levels are inversely correlated with abdominal visceral fat which has proven to be a strong predictor of T2DM. Body-Mass Index (BMI) is a common method for determining which patients are classified as underweight, healthy, overweight or obese, however, BMI does not take into account gender, ethnicity or activity levels. For example, measuring the BMI of athletes who have a high BMI due to muscle weighing heavier than fat would classify them as obese which is inaccurate. Measuring adiponectin levels is therefore a much more reliable indicator of at-risk patients compared to BMI.
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as the ‘bad cholesterol’. High concentrations of LDL-cholesterol is considered to be the most important clinical predictor, of all single parameters, with respect to coronary atherosclerosis. However, sLDL is a smaller, more dense subfraction of LDL-cholesterol. sLDL particles more readily permeate the inner arterial wall and are more susceptible to oxidation. Individuals with a predominance of sLDL have a 3-fold increased risk of myocardial infarction. Measurement of sLDL allows the clinician to get a more comprehensive picture of lipid risk factors and tailor treatment accordingly.
Elevated levels of Lp(a) are considered to be both a casual risk factor and independent genetic marker of atherosclerotic disorders. The major challenge associated with Lp(a) measurement is the size variation of apo(a) within Lp(a). Dependent upon the size of apo(a) in the assay calibrator, many assays under or overestimate apo(a) size in the patient sample. Numerous commercially available products suffer apo(a) size related bias, resulting in an over estimation of Lp(a) in samples with large apo(a)molecules and an under estimation in samples with small apo(a) molecules. The antibody used in the Randox method detects the complete Lp(a) molecule providing accurate and consistent results. This was proven by the IFCC who developed a gold standard ELISA reference assay and compared 22 commercially available tests. The Randox Lp(a) method displayed the least (minimal) amount of apo(a) size related bias, proving it be a superior offering.
HDL3 Cholesterol is a smaller and more dense subfraction of the HDL particle. HDL is the scavenger of cholesterol within arterial walls and the levels of HDL3 is too low, the ability to remove this cholesterol is reduced. Therefore, it is widely accepted that there is an inverse correlation between HDL3 and CVD risk.
Instrument Specific Applications (ISA’s) are available for a wide range of biochemistry analysers. Contact us to enquire about your specific analyser.
Acusera – Internal Quality Control
The Acusera cardiac controls have been designed to cover a wide range of cardiac markers at clinical decision levels, eliminating the extra expense of an additional low level control. The controls are available in a both liquid ready-to-use and lyophilized formats making them ideal for all situations and manufactured from 100% human serum a matrix similar to that of the patient is guaranteed. For more information on the Randox Acusera internal quality control, please click here or email email@example.com
RIQAS – External Quality Control
The RIQAS Liquid Cardiac EQA programme is designed to monitor the performance of up to 9clinically significant cardiac markers including: CK-MB mass, D-dimer, Digoxin, homocysteine, hsCRP, myoglobin, NT proBNP, troponin I, and troponin T. RIQAS is ISO/IEC 17043 accredited and allows the registration of up to five instruments at no extra cost. All samples are 100% human serum and provided in a liquid ready-to-use format for enhanced convenience. Submit your results bi-weekly and view reports online via RIQAS.Net. For more information on RIQAS, the world’s largest international EQA scheme, please click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, please contact the Randox PR team via email: email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413
Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high.
If you have diabetes, your body is unable to break down glucose into energy. This is because there’s either not enough insulin to move the glucose, or the insulin produced doesn’t work properly  which can lead to serious health complications.
The RX series range of analysers have one of the largest test menus available on the market which includes an extensive diabetes testing panel. Tests within the RX series diabetes panel allow for Diagnosis, Monitoring and Risk Assessment of Diabetes.
An adiponectin test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of adiponectin concentration in human serum or plasma.
Adiponectin is a protein hormone, produced and secreted by fat cells (adipocytes), which is normally found in reasonably high concentrations within the blood. Adiponectin regulates the metabolism of lipids and glucose and influences the body’s response to insulin and inflammation.
Adiponectin levels are inversely correlated with abdominal visceral fat (AVF) levels, which have proven to be a strong predictor of several pathologies including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cancers and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is widely recognised that people who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing T2DM, however measure waist circumference and Body Mass Index (BMI) are not enough. As such adiponectin levels are a much more reliable indicator of at-risk patients.
A number of key publications have advocated the testing of adiponectin in clinical settings and concluded that higher adiponectin levels are associated with a lower risk of T2DM across diverse populations.
A fructosamine test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of glycated protein (fructosamine) concentration in human serum or plasma.
Fructosamine is a mid-term indicator of diabetic control as it can provide information on a person’s averge blood glucose levels over the preceding 14-21 days.
Due to the shorter time span of fructosamine, it is often used to evaluate the effectiveness of medication changes and to monitor the treatment of gestational diabetes.
A Haemoglobin A1c test system is a device intended for the quantitative in vitro determination of Haemoglobin A1c concentration in whole blood.
In a diabetic patient, where blood glucose levels are abnormally elevated, the level of HbA1c also increases proportionally to the level of glucose in the blood and has been widely accepted as an indicator of the mean daily blood glucose concentration over the preceding 6-8 weeks. It is therefore, a long term indicator of diabetic control.
Read our poster on Randox’s development of a new latex enhanced immunoturbidimetric assay for the rapid direct measurement of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) applicable to RX series analysers by clicking here.
Diagnosing diabetes with the RX series
The RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers have many benefits when testing patients for diabetes. With analysers ranging from the RX misano semi-automated analyser to the RX modena which can perform up to 1200 tests per hour the RX series analysers offer a suitable platform for your laboratory, ensuring results are received in a time efficient manner. Windows based software and easily recognisable icons ensure that the RX series analysers are easy to use and allows for an enhanced laboratory productivity. Laboratory cost savings can also be achieved with a low water consumption available on each RX series analyser.
Other RX series analyser features include:
Diabetes Test Menu:
Consolidate your testing with a comprehensive diabetes testing panel available on the RX series analysers. A large number of tests can be carried out on one platform, including direct HbA1c testing, providing consolidation opportunities and real cost savings.
High quality results are achieved first time, every time. This saves operator time and avoids unnecessary additional costs of repeat testing and reduces the possibility of patient misdiagnosis.
Built in inventory management system automatically calculates remaining reagent volume and the number of tests available. Superior performance means minimal downtime and swift reporting of results.
This week marks Urology Week, an important week in the annual health calendar. Urology Week is an initiative of the European Association of Urology (EAU) that aims to raise awareness of urological conditions among the general public and provide knowledge into how vital urology is to your standard of life.
What is Urology?
Urology is a surgical speciality which involves the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs. It is an extremely varied branch of medicine and caters for patients of both genders and all ages, from infants to elderly pensioners. (1)
Did you know?
There are 25 million or 16% of Europeans above 40 years of age who experience some symptoms of urinary incontinence, with costs of this condition totalling approximately €7 billion in just 6 countries? Currently, 10% of all medical care involves Urology which is a large proportion of the annual healthcare spend. (2)
The RX series Clinical Chemistry Analysers offer a comprehensive renal testing panel which allows for a quick and accurate diagnosis to combat urological diseases.
The RX series Renal Function Test Panel is aimed to help diagnose and manage conditions affecting kidney function; these tests may be used as part of general health screening or to screen someone who is at risk of developing kidney disease.
Why choose the RX series analysers to test Renal Function?
- Extremely low patient sample volumes are required ensuring the upmost in patient comfort
- Accurate testing ensures patients can receive correct treatment as early as possible
- STAT functionality allows for the addition of emergency samples when required
- Advanced QC capabilities insuring your results are both accurate and reliable.
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(1) The British Association of Urological Surgeons Limited. (2017). What Is Urology? Available: https://www.baus.org.uk/patients/information/default.aspx. Last accessed 26th Sept 2017.
(2) European Association of Urology. (2017). Urology Statistics.Available: http://www.urologyweek.org/what_is_urology/statistics/. Last accessed 26th Sept 2017.
A group of 30 delegates from global healthcare company Randox Laboratories has this week travelled to the USA, to take part in the world’s largest diagnostics conference – in San Diego, California.
The American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, known as the leading event for laboratory medicine worldwide, is attended by over 20,000 delegates from across the globe, and offers Randox the opportunity to showcase their capabilities and to network with leading healthcare professionals and key decision makers.
Launching at this year’s event are a number of innovative and exciting new products, including a test for Acute Kidney Injury, a revolutionary diagnostic for small, dense low density lipoprotein (sLDL), a subtype of LDL cholesterol which is a vital risk marker for cardiovascular disease, and the latest in laboratory quality assurance software.
Chief Scientist at Randox Laboratories, John Lamont, who is heading up the delegation to the US, commented;
“Our very significant investment in research and development means that we have more new tests in development than any other healthcare company in the world. Each year at AACC we are able to bring a wealth of exciting new technologies to the American market, for a range of the world’s pressing health issues in need of the most urgent address. We look forward to showcasing our latest innovations at this year’s AACC conference, and to identifying further potential projects.”
Dr. Peter FitzGerald, Founder and Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, commented;
“We appreciate that post-Brexit there will of course be particular business challenges with regards to international business, but at Randox we will remain committed to developing new health diagnostic technologies in the areas where they are needed most, and to expanding the business in our key markets, such as the US.
“The USA is one of our most important markets and we have been exporting our diagnostic products there since the early 1980s. We will continue to nurture our presence there, the expansion of which will be supported by our soon to be opened facility in Kearneysville, West Virginia, which will enable us to strengthen our position in that market.”
AACC runs from the 30th July – 3rd August at the San Diego Convention Centre. Randox can be found at booth #3839.
For further information about Randox at AACC please contact Randox PR on 028 9445 1016 or email RandoxPR@randox.com
This week the RX series team celebrate Diabetes Awareness Week. This is an annual event in the UK calendar, giving public the chance to raise as much awareness as possible for the condition and get involved with taking preventative action.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million. Of these, about 270,000 have type 2 diabetes and around 300,000 have type 1 diabetes. ₁
Diabetes prevalence in the UK is likely to rise to 5 million by 2025, therefore if we know our risks and are aware of symptoms, we can do something about this staggering figure. Certain risks associated with diabetes include age, family history, high blood pressure and being overweight. As this disease continues to challenge healthcare today it is important we take action on Diabetes Awareness Week.
Signs and symptoms of diabetes include unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, tiredness and lack of energy, excessive thirst, blurred vision, tingling sensation/numbness in the hands or feet and slow-healing wounds.
Whilst the condition cannot be cured, it is treatable and can be managed and controlled with different treatments to suit different people. There are several assays that Randox have developed to monitor and diagnose diabetes. These include; Fructosamine, Glucose and HbA1c. Monitoring diabetes is hugely important to ensure that you are safe from complications.
The RX series includes a vast Diabetes test Panel.
#DiabetesAwarenessWeek has allowed us to focus on how we can take action by diagnosing and monitoring diabetes effectively. See below three tests run on the RX series for monitoring and diagnosing diabetes.
High levels of glucose present in the blood over a sustained period of time can end up damaging the blood vessels. Glucose comes from carbohydrate foods and it is the main source of energy used by the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body’s cells use the glucose and helps ensure levels don’t rise too high.
HbA1c is a very common test used indicating the blood glucose levels for the previous two to three months. HbA1c levels are directly correlated with increased risk of diabetes related deaths, making HbA1c tests vital.
Fructosamine testing enables an accurate review of a person’s average blood glucose level, and therefore diabetic status over a period of 2-3 weeks. Fructosamine testing is required for medication changes, gestational diabetes, red blood cell concerns and comorbidities.
If you would like to educate yourself more on Diabetes, including the diagnosis and monitoring, complications monitoring and associated biomarkers visit our website. We also have a full test menu available here.
Check out www.diabetes.org.uk for ways in which you can be a part of Diabetes Awareness Week this 2017!
Don’t forget to keep posted on our social media accounts for more educational information all week, remember use the hashtags to join in! #KnowDiabetes #DiabetesWeek #FightDiabetes
Introducing Amy Fekkes, graphic designer of the new RX series logo.
The RX series have just launched their brand new logo! We did a quick Q&A session with the creator of the new logo, graphic designer Amy Fekkes, who works in the RX series marketing team. We asked Amy a few questions about the history of the RX brand and the process she went through to create a selection of preferred designs, through to senior management approving their favourite logo for the company to implement across the board.
How old is the RX series brand?
15 years old, the first analyser having been released in 2002. We now have 5 analysers in our range.
How many versions of the RX series logo have been created?
This is the third version.
What is the meaning behind each of the individual names of the analysers? (RX misano, RX monaco, RX daytona+, RX imola, RX modena)
Each of the analysers are named after famous racetracks around the world. This helps reinforce the idea of workflow and speedy turnaround of results.
What inspired this current brand re-fresh?
I felt passionate about the RX series and felt the old logo was not communicating the correct brand image us as a marketing team wanted to portray. Therefore, I set out to design a logo which voiced the cutting edge and innovative technology the RX series has to offer.
The new logo needed to portray a more modern brand image which would be attractive and eye-catching in order to entice new customers and build upon existing business.
What is the meaning behind the design of the new logo?
The shape of the logo is inspired by the seamless, dynamic workflow of a Randox laboratory. This modern innovative logo speaks quality and reliability with its flowing design and robust RX typeface.
The simple, clean cut, iconic design is instantly recognisable and gives us a superior edge over our competitors.
The logo helps reflect the brand image of innovative technology at the heart of the laboratory.
Why did you change the colours of the logo and what is the reason behind the new chosen colours?
I wanted to strengthen the relationship between the RX series and Randox brands. The green now correlates with the green in the Randox brand, therefore strengthening overall brand awareness.
The subtle introduction of black in the palette creates a strong clean contrast against the Randox green and communicates power and clarity.
How did you decide on the final logo?
After much in-depth research and sketching, the design was then created digitally using Illustrator®.
The final decision was a two-step process. I selected my preferred designs and presented these to the marketing team who voted on their two favourite designs. These two designs were then brought forward to senior management to make the final decision. I was absolutely delighted that my favourite of the two was chosen.
As a team, we believe that the new logo will be instantly recognisable to customers worldwide and synonymous with high quality, reliable clinical chemistry testing. Initial feedback has been very encouraging and we look forward to strengthening our presence globally through our modern, innovative logo.
Make sure to check out our social media accounts for more!
With a presence in as many as 145 different countries around the world, a lot of our Randox team work outside the UK. This week we headed in the direction of Asia and met up with Pankaj Chitkara, who is our National Sales Manager for the RX Series in India.
Hi Pankaj, can you tell me about your relocation?
When I first started with Randox I was based in Mumbai and then I relocated to New Delhi. I have been with Randox for nearly ten years now and I am employed as the national sales manager for the RX Series – I love my job.
How did you find the relocation process?
I never really imagined relocating when I first started off in Randox but now I love living in New Delhi. I think because I am doing the exact same role as I did when I was based in Mumbai I am quite lucky because relocating didn’t involve starting off from scratch. I was saved from having to learn a whole new role as well as getting used to a whole new city, which I know can be a bit daunting. Of course, as with any move there are always a few hurdles you have to get passed before you’re fully settled in. House hunting usually takes a bit of time before you find something that’s right and then you have the hassles of packing and unpacking and getting your family all settled into their new home and routine. But overall relocating was never a big issue for me. I think if I was given the opportunity to relocate again I would definitely consider it. As long as there are opportunities to grow, learn and improve it can be a very positive experience.
Do you travel back to Mumbai often?
New Delhi is my home now so I don’t need to travel back to Mumbai. It’s roughly about two hours on the plane so if I needed to go back it wouldn’t be a problem. My parents currently live here so it was good to already have family near. They were able to help me get settled in and find somewhere to live.
How are you finding living in New Delhi?
There is loads to do and see here, and I am really enjoying the lifestyle that it offers. The weather is always on your side and I love the culture of the city. The India Gate which is 42m high is like an archway in the middle of a crossroad. It was built to commemorate 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives during World War 1. At night it is beautifully lit up while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with coloured lights.
What has been the highlight of your relocation so far?
The highlight of my relocation definitely has been managing the business without an office. It’s fantastic!
If you would be interested in joining our team you can visit Randox careers to see what current opportunities we have available for you. #WeAreRandox
The RX series analysers ensure that the on-board testing process is precise through many stages and therefore lead to accurate results in the laboratory. Our automated analysers go through an extensive washing system for cuvettes and includes acid, alkali and pure water wash steps. Liquid level sensor, crash, bubble and clot detection ensure that after the washing process is complete, whatever residue remaining has been completely removed from the cuvettes so that they are ready to be used again.
Randox understand the demands of the clinical chemistry laboratory and recognise the importance of maintaining a consistent workflow of high quality results. We pride ourselves in excellence of service. Through our global network, our team of trained engineers provide local service and support. There are 3 levels of service maintenance provisions to ensure a package to suit all laboratories; bronze, silver and gold packages.
Randox also offers technical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via a free electronic service called Powerline; this service provides customers with instant access to instructions for use (IFU), and instrument specific application (ISA) documents for a comprehensive list of instruments. Each RX series analyser requires minimal maintenance, as little as 5 minutes daily, and between 1 and 2 yearly preventative maintenance checks depending on the workflow of the analyser.
70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory results, therefore it is imperative that accurate results are produced in the laboratory. These test results lead to key decisions for the treatment of patients, therefore it is essential for an accurate diagnosis of all patient samples. A misdiagnosis can be life threatening, or lead to incorrect treatment plans delaying the recovery of the patient, which in turn can lead to high compensation costs for Hospitals and Laboratories for the affected patients.
The RX series analysers ensure accurate test results with a stringent validation process of all Randox Reagents. The QC functionality provides automatic flagging of inaccurate results and testing errors therefore helping laboratories identify and resolve issues quickly, minimising the possibility of misdiagnosis.
Precision, reliability and accuracy are hugely important within a laboratory. The RX series analysers offer these in abundance. Randox can provide consolidation of testing with validated reagents and cost effective Quality Controls, ensuring that your laboratories testing results are precise, reliable and accurate.
If you are interested in finding out more and would like to speak with a Randox representative, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is World Heart Day. We all know someone close to us who has been affected by heart related disease despite extensive research being carried out to try and prevent it
According to the British Heart Foundation, today in the UK alone:
- 435 people will lose their lives to Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
- More than 110 people will be younger than 75
- 515 people will go to hospital due to a heart attack
- 190 people will die from a heart attack
From 2011 to 2013 a study of men and women under the age of 75 recorded an annual loss of 41,786 people noted by British Heart Federation. In the United States of America around 1.5 million people suffer from heart attacks and strokes each year. CVD is currently the leading cause of death in United States.
However, the British Heart Foundation have revealed that the annual number of deaths from CVD in the UK has fallen by more than half, since their establishment. This is a great achievement, but more can be done in the race to beat heart disease.
Take control of your heart health today
Keeping a healthy heart is key to your well-being. Our healthy tips below give some examples of how you can start working towards a healthier heart today.
Smoking is still a major cause of CVD. Smoking causes your blood vessels to thicken and become narrower making your heart beat faster and increases blood pressure. This puts significant pressure on your heart and can result in a number of heart related diseases.
Smoking can cause blood clots to form, blocking your arteries which makes it extremely difficult for your heart to pump blood around your body. This is one of the leading cause of CVD and Strokes. According to the NHS, after one year of giving up smoking your risk of a heart attack falls by about half that of a smoker.
Even if you are not a smoker, you should try and avoid inhaling second hand smoke where possible.
Limit your alcohol intake
Drinking excess alcohol can result in considerable health implications.
According to the NHS guidelines, both men and women shouldn’t drink any more than 14 units per week. If you do drink 14 units per week this should be spread out over 3 days or more.
The British heart Foundation stated in their October 2010 statistical report ‘While moderate consumption (one or two drinks a day) does not increase the risk of CVD, it is estimated in men that 2% of CVD and 5% of strokes are due to excessive drinking.
Exercise not only releases endorphins which can have an extremely positive effect on our mental wellbeing, but it will also improve our physical health.
A study carried out by the World Heart Federation revealed that walking at least two hours a week reduced the incidence of premature death from cardiovascular disease by about 50%.
You should aim to do at least 30 minutes exercise 5 days a week to keep a healthy heart. Simple exercises such as walking to work instead of taking your car a few days a week, cycling for 30 minutes after work, or going swimming at the weekend can help to reduce your risk of CVD.
Cut down on saturated fat
Eating foods high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. Saturated fats include foods such as processed meats, fatty meats, whole milk and cream, butter and lard. Replacing these with healthier options such a coconut oil, lean cut meats, and skimmed milks can help improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease greatly.
Randox is a leading provider of diagnostic reagents for the assessment of cardiovascular disease risk. Assessment of cardiac health and regular cardiac screening is vital so that risk factors can be detected in the earliest stages. Our dedicated test menu includes an extensive cardiac panel, including; CK-MB, Lipoprotein (a), TxB cardio, Myoglobin and H-FABP.
These tests can be run on our range of clinical chemistry analysers, the RX series, which will provide you with accurate and reliable results. The RX series combines robust hardware and intuitive software with the RX series dedicated test menu boasting innovation, ease-of-use, and superior technology for your laboratory.
You can view our complete test menu here https://www.randox.com/complete-rx-test-menu/.
Support World Heart Day 2016 by taking a healthy heart selfie and post it via twitter using the hashtag
Hearing loss is often associated with old age, tinnitus or balance disorders. However, studies show that anyone can be affected by hearing loss, at any age if exposed to a chemical present in many common household products.
Chances are, you take your senses for granted. Associated generally with deterioration in old age, we never assume we will go deaf or blind in our younger years. Nevertheless, approximately 3 million children in the USA suffer from hearing loss and this number is on the rise. (CHC, 2016)
In 2006, a study was released detailing the mysterious premature hearing loss of a collection of employees in a manufacturing site in Taiwan, specialising in adhesive materials. Chang, Chen, Lien, and Sung narrowed the phenomenon that was the loss of the worker’s auditory sense down to the responsibility of one chemical: Toluene.
Chemical-induced hearing loss, also known as “ototoxicity”, can affect anyone of any age and today, there are over 200 known ototoxic medications on the market known to cause damage to the inner ear containing chemicals largely known to induce ototoxicity such as Syrene and Xylene.
However, sold in many high-street shops, you’ll find the biggest player in the cause of ototoxicity: Toluene. Toluene is a major component of paints, varnishes, petroleum, printing inks, degreasers, adhesives, cigarette smoke, glues, thinners, and plastics. Exposure to Toluene, such as inhalation, ingestion or skin contact, is known to cause not only hearing loss, but commonly can be a factor in causing Tinnitus, Dermatitis, and vision impairment. In general, the component can wreak havoc for the central nervous system and prolonged exposure to high concentrations of the colourless liquid may result in loss of consciousness, and may even be fatal.
Wanisiusiow, whose findings were conducted using the RX series’ RX daytona and a Randox creatinine kit stated, “Toluene is undoubtedly one of the most widely used organic solvents in industry.” But how does Toluene do it? Wanisusiow goes on to state, “As far as we know, there are two major mechanisms which might explain toluene-induced hearing loss. Firstly, a poisoning of Deiters and Hensen’s cells, which are both important to maintain the K+ homeostasis in the vicinity of outer hair cells. Secondly, an oxidative cell injury, such as lipid peroxidation.”
An interesting point uncovered in this study is that suffering the severe side-effect of Toluene seems to be species-specific. The original experiment, carried out on rats, displayed expected symptoms of ototoxicity. However, guinea pigs reacted differently. The study speculates: The half-life of toluene is longer in the rat than in the guinea pig. This might be one way to explain the difference in cochlear sensitivity to toluene between rats and guinea pigs but likely not the only one.
So, what is it in the genetic makeup of guinea pigs, that rats do not possess, that could fight the negative effects of Toluene? Could learning what causes guinea pigs immunity be beneficial to our research into hearing loss?