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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Chemical Screening of Urine by Reagent Strip. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Advantages and Limitations of the Chemical Reagent Strip Method for Specific Gravity (SG)

SG measured with the chemical reagent strip method correlates well with gravimetric measurement, and, unlike the gravimetric or refractometer methods, does not need to be corrected for glucose or protein. Cloudy/turbid urines do not need to be clarified before measuring SG with the reagent strip method. It is the recommended method for determining SG if a urine specimen contains x-ray contrast media or plasma expanders.
Alkaline urine can affect the indicator system and lower the SG result on the reagent pad. If the result is being read visually, it is recommended that .005 be added to the SG result when the pH is alkaline. Most chemical reagent strip readers, however, will automatically adjust the SG reading for pH.