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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R. / Tsongalis, Gregory J.

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An International Standard for whole blood folate: evaluation of a lyophilised haemolysate in an international collaborative study

Susan J. Thorpe / Dawn Sands / Alan B. Heath / Malcolm S. Hamilton / Sheena Blackmore / Trevor Barrowcliffe

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 42, Issue 5, Pages 533–539, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2004.090, June 2005

Publication History

Published Online:


Folate measurements, particularly for whole blood, show wide inter-laboratory and inter-methodology variability. This variability appears to be due in part to the lack of internationally accepted reference materials. A whole blood haemolysate, lyophilised in ampoules and designated 95/528, was therefore evaluated by 15 laboratories in five countries for its suitability as an International Standard (IS) for whole blood folate. The preparation was assayed using a variety of microbiological and protein-binding methodologies against local standards and calibrators. A consensus folate content was assigned to 95/528. The inclusion of three whole blood samples in the study with widely differing folate levels demonstrated a considerable reduction in inter-laboratory variability when the folate content of the samples was determined relative to the proposed IS 95/528 rather than to laboratories' local standards and calibrators. Accelerated degradation studies indicated that the folate content of 95/528 is stable when stored at −20°C. On the basis of the results presented here, the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Biological Standardization established 95/528 as an IS for whole blood folate.

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