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J Lipid Res. 2018 Oct;59(10):2001-2017. doi: 10.1194/jlr.S087163. Epub 2018 Aug 16.

MS-based lipidomics of human blood plasma: a community-initiated position paper to develop accepted guidelines.

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Singapore Lipidomics Incubator (SLING), Life Sciences Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Laboratory for Metabolomics, RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences, Yokohama, Japan.
Cellular and Molecular Epigenetics Laboratory, Graduate School of Medical Life Science, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan.
Division of Physiological Chemistry and Metabolism, Keio University Faculty of Pharmacy, Tokyo, Japan.
National Institute of Genetics, Shizuoka, Japan and RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science, Yokohama, Japan.
Department of Biochemistry, YLL School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore.
Departments of Pharmacology and Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
Lipidomics Consulting Ltd., Esbo, Finland.
Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies and Department of Medicine-Diabetes, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX.
Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, National University Hospital, Singapore.
Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Turku Centre for Biotechnology, University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland and School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
Departments of Pharmacology and Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
Babraham Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Division of Physiological Chemistry 2, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Singapore Lipidomics Incubator (SLING), Life Sciences Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore


Human blood is a self-regenerating lipid-rich biological fluid that is routinely collected in hospital settings. The inventory of lipid molecules found in blood plasma (plasma lipidome) offers insights into individual metabolism and physiology in health and disease. Disturbances in the plasma lipidome also occur in conditions that are not directly linked to lipid metabolism; therefore, plasma lipidomics based on MS is an emerging tool in an array of clinical diagnostics and disease management. However, challenges exist in the translation of such lipidomic data to clinical applications. These relate to the reproducibility, accuracy, and precision of lipid quantitation, study design, sample handling, and data sharing. This position paper emerged from a workshop that initiated a community-led process to elaborate and define a set of generally accepted guidelines for quantitative MS-based lipidomics of blood plasma or serum, with harmonization of data acquired on different instrumentation platforms across independent laboratories as an ultimate goal. We hope that other fields may benefit from and follow such a precedent.


National Institute of Standards and Technology Standard Reference Material 1950; absolute concentrations; clinical research; clinical trials; data sharing; diagnostic tools; lipids; mass spectrometry; quality control

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