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Steroids. 2010 Jul;75(7):477-88. doi: 10.1016/j.steroids.2010.02.012. Epub 2010 Feb 24.

Measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the clinical laboratory: current procedures, performance characteristics and limitations.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Macewen Building, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK.


In this review we describe procedures, performance characteristics and limitations of methods available for the measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin (25OHD) since the year 2000. The two main types of methods are competitive immunoassay and those based on chromatographic separation followed by non-immunological direct detection (HPLC, LC-MS/MS). Lack of a reference standard for 25OHD has, until recently, been a major issue resulting in poor between-method comparability. Fortunately this should soon improve due to the recent introduction of a standard reference material in human serum (SRM 972) from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). For immunoassay, specificity can be an issue especially in relation to the proportion of 25OHD2 that is quantified whereas HPLC and LC-MS/MS methods are able to measure the two major vitamin D metabolites 25OHD2 and 25OHD3 independently. HPLC and LC-MS/MS require more expensive equipment and expert staff but this can be offset against lower reagent costs. Increasingly procedures are being developed to semi-automate or automate HPLC and LC-MS/MS but run times remain considerably longer than for immunoassays especially if performed on automated platforms. For most HPLC and LC-MS/MS methods extraction and procedural losses are corrected for by the inclusion of an internal standard which, in part, may account for higher results compared to immunoassay. In general precision of immunoassay, HPLC and LC-MS/MS are comparable and all have the required sensitivity to identify severe vitamin D deficiency. Looking to the future it is hoped that the imminent introduction of a standard reference method (or methods) for 25OHD will further accelerate improvements in between method comparability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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