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Neurosci Lett. 2007 May 1;417(2):193-5. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

Influence of delayed CSF storage on concentrations of phospho-tau protein (181), total tau protein and beta-amyloid (1-42).

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Section of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


It is generally accepted that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers such as tau protein, phosphorylated tau protein (threonine 181) and beta-amyloid (1-42) can facilitate early and differential diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Since the respective concentrations can only be measured in a number of specialized centers, time to CSF specimen work-up has been considered as crucial for the stability of the respective biomarkers. When shipping of CSF samples is needed for biomarker measurement and immediate freezing of samples is not available, an overnight delay of up to 24h frequently occurs. Therefore, we investigated the potential impact of a 24h delayed freezing on CSF biomarker concentrations and compared it to 2h storage (room temperature, 20 degrees C) and an immediate freezing. First, storage at room temperature for 2h had only marginal, non-significant effects on the concentrations of CSF total tau protein and phospho-tau protein (181) compared to immediate freezing. Second, storage at room temperature for 24h did not significantly affect total tau protein or phospho-tau protein but beta-amyloid (1-42) concentrations which increased significantly compared to the samples frozen immediately. These results indicate that CSF samples for the evaluation of total tau and phospho-tau protein may be kept at room temperature for up to 24h whereas CSF samples for beta-amyloid (1-42) need to be frozen immediately.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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