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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 1998 Nov;58(7):561-7.

Evaluation of an ELISA test for determination of the serum transferrin receptor. Demonstration of discordance between results obtained with two methods.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Finland.


We undertook this study to evaluate a recently introduced ELISA kit for determining serum transferrin receptor (TfR) concentration (TfR, Ramco Laboratories, Inc.), to produce reference values for healthy adults, and to compare the results with another commercially available reagent system. The mean (SD) recovery of added TfR was 88% (6%). In dilution studies, the ratio between the measured and expected values was 0.98 (0.11). The intra-assay and interassay coefficients of variation were from 5% to 7% and from 6% to 9% in a physiological and a supraphysiological concentration range, respectively, and from 13% to 16% in a subnormal concentration range. In healthy adults between 20 and 60 years of age, we observed no age- or sex-related differences in TfR values. Thus, the same reference interval, 3.0-8.2 mg l(-1), may be used for this population. The correlation between the results obtained with the Ramco TfR test and the Amgen Diagnostics Clinigen test was satisfactory (r=0.79). The Ramco TfR test produced higher values (Tf=0.40 (-0.45-1.25)+1.46 (1.16-1.75)* Clinigen). The number of samples that fell within the same concentration interval with both methods (low, normal or high in relation to the respective reference interval) was only 45% (27/60). The Ramco TfR test had fewer values falsely suggesting iron deficiency than the Clinigen test. Serum TfR methods need to be uniformly standardized.

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