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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

Editorial Board Member: Gillery, Philippe / Kazmierczak, Steven / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Whitfield, John B.

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New quantitative electrochemiluminescence method (ECLIA) for interleukin-6 (IL-6) measurement

Belén Prieto1 / Diego Miguel1 / Marta Costa2 / Daniel Coto2 / Francisco V. Álvarez1, 3

1Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain

2Department of Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, Spain

3Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

Corresponding author: Francisco V. Álvarez, PhD, Servicio de Bioquímica Clínica, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, 33006 Oviedo, Spain Phone/Fax: +34 985108073,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 48, Issue 6, Pages 835–838, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2010.153, March 2010

Publication History

Published Online:


Background: A new interleukin-6 (IL-6) electrochemiluminescent immunoassay (ECLIA, Roche Diagnostics) was evaluated and compared to a previous semiquantitative immunoassay (Milenia Biotec). Reference ranges for cord blood plasma were also calculated.

Methods: The new IL-6 ECLIA test was performed using a Cobas E601 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics). The comparison method (Milenia Biotec) was a semiquantitative lateral flow immunoassay, coupled to a digital image capture system (PicoScan). Healthy at term newborns were recruited to establish reference ranges for IL-6 in cord blood plasma.

Results: Total imprecision ranged from 3.7% to 8.0% depending on the IL-6 concentrations. The calculated limit of detection for IL-6 measured by ECLIA was 2.63 pg/mL, almost twice as high as that claimed by the manufacturer (1.5 pg/mL). The linearity of the method was verified to 5000 pg/mL. The IL-6 reference limit, obtained from 148 cord blood samples, was 30 pg/mL (90% confidence interval: 19–48 pg/mL).

Conclusions: The new quantitative ECLIA method showed good reproducibility, linearity and functional sensitivity. Additional clinically based studies are needed to elucidate the usefulness of the IL-6 reference limit, calculated here for the first time by ECLIA in cord blood plasma, to aid in the diagnosis of vertical transmission of sepsis.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:835–8.

Keywords: cord blood IL-6; interleukin-6 (IL-6); neonatal sepsis

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