Comparison of neurofilament light chain results between two independent facilities
BMJ NEUROLOGY OPEN | OCTOBER 19, 2020
Sejbaek T, Mendoza JP, Penner N, Madsen JS, Olsen DA and Illes Z.
BMJ Neurology Open. 2020;2:e000063
Objectives To examine levels of neurofilament light chain (NFL) in identical cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood samples at two different facilities, and how differences affect interpretation of levels within and above the normal range.
Methods CSF and plasma from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls (HCs) were analysed by Simoa (Quanterix) for levels of NFL providing a total of 165 CSF samples (119 from MS) and 225 plasma samples (180 from MS).
Results CSF and plasma concentrations highly correlated between NFL laboratory facilities (R: 0.92 and 0.84, <0.0001, respectively), and there were no differences between facilities. A bias between the two sites for plasma was −0.95 pg/mL and for CSF −73.53 pg/mL. The cut-offs for CSF were 807.5 and 571.0 pg/mL at site 1 and site 2, respectively; the cut-offs for plasma were 13.0 and 11.8 pg/mL, respectively. Seven out of 180 plasma samples (3.9%) and 3 out of 119 CSF samples (2.5%) from MS patients could be reclassified as normal/abnormal, that is, below/above cut-off, when measured at different facilities.
Conclusion Our study demonstrates that results of NFL in CSF and blood measured with SIMOA are comparable between facilities. Nevertheless, healthcare practitioners should consider reference values at different laboratories, since different sensitivity/specificity can affect interpretation when low values are adjacent to cut-offs.