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Biopreserv Biobank. 2016 Feb;14(1):51-5. doi: 10.1089/bio.2015.0059. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Impact of Whole-Blood Processing Conditions on Plasma and Serum Concentrations of Cytokines.

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1 National Biobank of Korea, Center for Genome Sciences, Korea National Institute of Health , Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cheongju-si, Korea.
2 Dankook University Medical College , Cheonan-si, Korea.


Pre-analytical variations in plasma and serum samples can occur because of variability in whole-blood processing procedures. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of delayed separation of whole blood on the plasma and serum concentrations of cytokines. The concentrations of 16 cytokines were measured in plasma and serum samples when the centrifugation of whole blood at room temperature was delayed for 4, 6, 24, or 48 h, and the values were compared with those observed after separation within 2 h of whole-blood collection. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was also performed for cytokines to determine whether cytokine levels in plasma and serum samples can be used to assess delayed separation of whole blood. Plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-1β, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and serum concentrations of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (MIP-1α), and MIP-1β increased significantly (>2-fold) when separation was delayed at room temperature for 24 h. The concentrations of 6 of these cytokines (all except serum IL-1β and IL-6) demonstrated high diagnostic performance (area under the ROC curve >0.8) for delayed separation of whole blood. Furthermore, these cytokine concentrations typically exhibited high sensitivity and specificity at each optimal cutoff point. Conversely, IL-17A was stable in both plasma and serum samples, even when whole-blood centrifugation was delayed at room temperature for 48 h. This study shows that certain cytokines (IL-1β, GM-CSF, sCD40L, IL-8, MIP-1α, and MIP-1β) could be used for assessing the quality of plasma or serum samples.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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