Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Nutr Metab. 2013;63(4):305-10. doi: 10.1159/000357954. Epub 2014 Feb 4.

Plasma-serum cholesterol differences in children and use of measurements from different specimens.

Author information

Center for Nutrition, Prevention, and Health Services, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, The Netherlands.



We aimed to assess absolute plasma-serum differences and differences in ranking of total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC), and TC/HDLC ratio in children.


We analysed data of 412 children participating in a Dutch birth cohort. TC, HDLC, and TC/HDLC ratio were determined in plasma at age 8 and 12 years and in serum at age 12 years.


Compared to serum, plasma TC at age 12 years was 0.07 mmol/l lower (95% CI -0.08 to -0.06), plasma HDLC was 0.06 mmol/l higher (95% CI 0.05-0.07), and plasma TC/HDLC ratio was 0.19 lower (95% CI -0.20 to -0.17) (p < 0.0001). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for ranking of TC, HDLC, and TC/HDLC ratio at age 12 years were 0.970, 0.745, and 0.979, respectively. ICCs for ranking of 8- to 12-year change of TC, HDLC, and TC/HDLC ratio were 0.971, 0.957, and 0.955, respectively.


Cholesterol was systematically different in plasma and serum, and use of plasma would result in a more favourable lipid profile of children (lower TC, higher HDLC, and lower TC/HDLC ratio). Nevertheless, consistency in ranking of children according to plasma or serum cholesterol concentrations was very high. Age-related change in cholesterol can be validly assessed by ranking the difference between serum concentrations at one age and plasma concentrations at another age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center