Publications & Posters

Ultrasensitive immunoassay allows measurement of serum neurofilament heavy in Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders | February 9, 2021

Verberk IMW, Koel-Simmelink M, Twaalfhoven H, Vrenken H, Korth C, Killestein J, Teunissen CE and Bridel C

Multiple sclerosis and related disorders. 2021:102840


This study was peformed using a Simoa® Homebrew assay.



Neurofilament heavy (NfH) is a promising biomarker for neuro-axonal damage in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We compared the performance of high-sensitivity serum-NfH immunoassays, with as aim to investigate the value of serum-NfH as biomarker for MS.


We measured serum-NfH in 76 MS patients with Simoa (one commercial, one in-house) or Luminex assays. Serum-NfH measured by the immunoassay with greatest sensitivity was related to clinical and radiological outcomes with age and sex-adjusted linear regression analysis, and to biological outcomes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-NfH, serum neurofilament light (NfL) and CSF-NfL with Spearman’s correlation analysis.


With the commercial Simoa assay, we obtained 100% serum-NfH detectability (in-house Simoa: 70%, Luminex: 61%), with lowest coefficient of variation (CV) between duplicates of 11%CV (in-house Simoa: 22%CV, Luminex: 30%CV). Serum-NfH quantified with the commercial Simoa assay was associated with disease duration (standardized beta (sβ) = 0.28, p = 0.034), T2 lesion volume (sβ = 0.23, p = 0.041), and tended to associate with black hole count (sβ = 0.21, p = 0.084) but not with Expanded Disease Disability Score (EDSS) or normalized brain volume (all: p>0.10). Furthermore, serum-NfH showed correlations with CSF-NfH (rho = 0.27, p = 0.018) and serum-NfL (rho=0.44, p < 0.001), but not with CSF-NfL.


Serum-NfH can be quantified with high-sensitivity technology. Cross-sectionally, we observed some weak correlations of serum-NfH with MS disease burden parameters, suggesting there might be some utility for serum-NfH as biomarker for MS disease burden.

This study was performed using the Quanterix HD-1 Analyzer.