Serum neurofilament light chain withstands delayed freezing and repeated thawing
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS | NOVEMBER 17, 2020
Altmann P, Leutmezer F, Zach H, Wurm R, Stattmann M, Ponleitner M, Petzold A, Zetterberg H, Berger T, Rommer P and Bsteh G.
Sci Rep 10,19982 (2020).
Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) and its ability to expose axonal damage in neurologic disorders have solicited a considerable amount of attention in blood biomarker research. Hence, with the proliferation of high-throughput assay technology, there is an imminent need to study the pre-analytical stability of this biomarker. We recruited 20 patients with common neurological diagnoses and 10 controls (i.e. patients without structural neurological disease). We investigated whether a variation in pre-analytical variables (delayed freezing up to 24 h and repeated thawing/freezing for up to three cycles) affects the measured sNfL concentrations using state of the art Simoa technology. Advanced statistical methods were applied to expose any relevant changes in sNfL concentration due to different storing and processing conditions. We found that sNfL concentrations remained stable when samples were frozen within 24 h (mean absolute difference 0.2 pg/ml; intraindividual variation below 0.1%). Repeated thawing and re-freezing up to three times did not change measured sNfL concentration significantly, either (mean absolute difference 0.7 pg/ml; intraindividual variation below 0.2%). We conclude that the soluble sNfL concentration is unaffected at 4–8 °C when samples are frozen within 24 h and single aliquots can be used up to three times. These observations should be considered for planning future studies.
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