Send to

Choose Destination
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2015 Jul;407(17):4879-92. doi: 10.1007/s00216-015-8565-x. Epub 2015 Mar 4.

Effects of pre-analytical processes on blood samples used in metabolomics studies.

Author information

Key Laboratory of Separation Science for Analytical Chemistry, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Dalian, 116023, China.


Every day, analytical and bio-analytical chemists make sustained efforts to improve the sensitivity, specificity, robustness, and reproducibility of their methods. Especially in targeted and non-targeted profiling approaches, including metabolomics analysis, these objectives are not easy to achieve; however, robust and reproducible measurements and low coefficients of variation (CV) are crucial for successful metabolomics approaches. Nevertheless, all efforts from the analysts are in vain if the sample quality is poor, i.e. if preanalytical errors are made by the partner during sample collection. Preanalytical risks and errors are more common than expected, even when standard operating procedures (SOP) are used. This risk is particularly high in clinical studies, and poor sample quality may heavily bias the CV of the final analytical results, leading to disappointing outcomes of the study and consequently, although unjustified, to critical questions about the analytical performance of the approach from the partner who provided the samples. This review focuses on the preanalytical phase of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-driven metabolomics analysis of body fluids. Several important preanalytical factors that may seriously affect the profile of the investigated metabolome in body fluids, including factors before sample collection, blood drawing, subsequent handling of the whole blood (transportation), processing of plasma and serum, and inadequate conditions for sample storage, will be discussed. In addition, a detailed description of latent effects on the stability of the blood metabolome and a suggestion for a practical procedure to circumvent risks in the preanalytical phase will be given.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center