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Clin Chem. 2002 Mar;48(3):499-506.

Reagent-free, simultaneous determination of serum cholesterol in HDL and LDL by infrared spectroscopy.

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  • 1Institute for Biodiagnostics, National Research Council Canada, 435 Ellice Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 1Y6, Canada.



The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of infrared (IR) spectroscopy for the simultaneous quantification of serum LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations.


Serum samples (n = 90) were obtained. Duplicate aliquots (5 microL) of the serum specimens were dried onto IR-transparent barium fluoride substrates, and transmission IR spectra were measured for the dry films. In parallel, the HDL-C and LDL-C concentrations were determined separately for each specimen by standard methods (the Friedewald formula for LDL-C and an automated homogeneous HDL-C assay). The proposed IR method was then developed with a partial least-squares (PLS) regression analysis to quantitatively correlate IR spectral features with the clinical analytical results for 60 randomly chosen specimens. The resulting quantification methods were then validated with the remaining 30 specimens. The PLS model for LDL-C used two spectral ranges (1700-1800 and 2800-3000 cm(-1)) and eight PLS factors, whereas the PLS model for HDL-C used three spectral ranges (800-1500, 1700-1800, and 2800-3500 cm(-1)) with six factors.


For the 60 specimens used to train the IR-based method, the SE between IR-predicted values and the clinical laboratory assays was 0.22 mmol/L for LDL-C and 0.15 mmol/L for HDL-C (r = 0.98 for LDL-C; r = 0.91 for HDL-C). The corresponding SEs for the test spectra were 0.34 mmol/L (r = 0.96) and 0.26 mmol/L (r = 0.82) for LDL-C and HDL-C, respectively. The precision for the IR-based assays was estimated by the SD of duplicate measurements to be 0.11 mmol/L (LDL-C) and 0.09 mmol/L (HDL-C).


IR spectroscopy has the potential to become the clinical method of choice for quick and simultaneous determinations of LDL-C and HDL-C.

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