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Clin Chem. 1996 Apr;42(4):551-7.

Nephelometric determination of carbohydrate deficient transferrin.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, CHU Trousseau, Tours, France.


We describe a technique for measuring carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) in serum. Serum transferrin fractions are separated by anion-exchange chromatography on microcolumns. Sialic acid-deficient transferrin fractions are collected in the eluate, and transferrin is then quantified by a rate-nephelometric technique. Imprecision (CV) was 4-5% within-run and 7-9% between runs (n = 15). Comparison with an isoelectric focusing-immunofixation method for transferrin index (x) yielded y = 761x + 7, Sy/x = 39 mg/L. Assay of sera from 90 abstainers or moderate consumers of alcohol showed that 81 (90%) had CDT concentrations between 30 and 70 mg/L. Among 74 alcoholics admitted to an alcohol treatment center, 54 (73%) had CDT > 70 mg/L, i.e., the diagnostic sensitivity was 73% at a specificity of 90% (area under receiver-operator characteristic curve = 0.891).

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