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Kidney Int. 2007 Aug;72(3):370-2. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Stability of intact parathyroid hormone in samples from hemodialysis patients.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital of Liege, University of Liege, Liege, Belgium.


The determination of intact parathyroid hormone levels is used for diagnosis and in the management of renal osteodystrophy. Pre-analytical and analytical conditions are important in the overall confidence of the assay. Unfortunately, there are no clear recommendations for the use of serum samples or samples anticoagulated with ethylenediaminotetraacetic acid (EDTA) for the best preservation of intact parathyroid hormone. In our study, the Roche Elecsys assay was used to measure intact hormone in both serum and EDTA plasmas from 16 hemodialysis patients over the span of a month. Parathyroid hormone stability was determined in samples kept frozen for 1-5 days or after 8-24 h at room temperature. There was no difference in hormone stability between serum and EDTA samples after 1 day in frozen storage. After 5 days frozen, hormone degradation was significantly greater after EDTA anticoagulation than in serum aliquots. When samples were stored at room temperature, intact parathyroid hormone was significantly more stable in EDTA-treated samples than in clotted serum samples, especially after 24 h. We conclude that optimum results are achieved in the measurement of intact parathyroid hormone levels depending on the workflow of the lab. If the lab works with intermittent batches of samples, frozen serum is the best. If the lab services general practitioners and/or several hospitals and has a continuous flow of samples, EDTA-treated samples stored at room temperature are the best.

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