Publications & Posters

Seven day pre-analytical stability of serum and plasma neurofilament light chain

Scientific Reports | May 26, 2021

Altmann P, Ponleitner M, Rommer PS, Haslacher H, Mucher P, Leutmezer F, Petzold A, Wotawa C, Lanzenberger R, Berger T, Zetterberg H and Bsteh G

Sci Rep. 2021;11:11034



Neurofilament light chain (NfL) has emerged as a biomarker of neuroaxonal damage in several neurologic conditions. With increasing availability of fourth-generation immunoassays detecting NfL in blood, aspects of pre-analytical stability of this biomarker remain unanswered. This study investigated NfL concentrations in serum and plasma samples of 32 patients with neurological diagnoses using state of the art Simoa technology. We tested the effect of delayed freezing of up to 7 days and statistically determined stability and validity of measured concentrations. We found concentrations of NfL in serum and plasma to remain stable at room temperature when processing of samples is delayed up to 7 days (serum: mean absolute difference 0.9 pg/mL, intraindividual variation 1.2%; plasma: mean absolute difference 0.5 pg/mL, intraindividual variation 1.3%). Consistency of these results was nearly perfect for serum and excellent for plasma (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.99 and 0.94, respectively). In conclusion, the soluble serum and plasma NfL concentration remains stable when unprocessed blood samples are stored up to 7 days at room temperature. This information is essential for ensuring reliable study protocols, for example, when shipment of fresh samples is needed.

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