Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 1, 2007

International Standard for serum vitamin B12 and serum folate: international collaborative study to evaluate a batch of lyophilised serum for B12 and folate content

  • Susan J. Thorpe , Alan Heath , Sheena Blackmore , Anne Lee , Malcolm Hamilton , Sean O'Broin , Bryant C. Nelson and Christine Pfeiffer
From the journal

Abstract

Background: Vitamin B12 and folate measurements in serum show wide inter-methodology variability. This variability appears to be due in part to the lack of standardisation against internationally accepted reference materials. Pooled human serum, lyophilised in ampoules and designated 03/178, was therefore evaluated by 24 laboratories in seven countries for its suitability to serve as an International Standard (IS) for B12 and folate.

Methods: IS 03/178 was assayed using a range of commercial analysers, microbiological assays and, for folate, candidate reference methods based on liquid chromatography coupled to isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS).

Results: Mean vitamin B12 and folate values for reconstituted 03/178 across all laboratories and methods were 480 pg/mL [coefficient of variation (CV) 12.8%] and 5.52 ng/mL (CV 17.1%), respectively. The total folate content of reconstituted 03/178, determined using LC/MS/MS, was 12.1 nmol/L (equivalent to 5.33 ng/mL), made up of 9.75 nmol/L 5-methyl tetrahydrofolic acid (5MeTHF; CV 5.5%), 1.59 nmol/L 5-formyl tetrahydrofolic acid (5FoTHF; CV 4.2%) and 0.74 nmol/L folic acid (FA; CV 31.6%). The inclusion of three serum samples in the study with different B12 and folate levels demonstrated a considerable reduction in inter-laboratory variability when the B12 and folate content of the samples was determined relative to the IS 03/178 rather than to the analyser calibration. IS 03/178 demonstrated satisfactory long-term stability in accelerated degradation studies.

Conclusions: Use of IS 03/178 to standardise serum B12 and folate assays reduced inter-laboratory variability. The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation established 03/178 as the first IS for serum vitamin B12 and serum folate, with assigned values of 480 pg/mL of vitamin B12 and 12.1 nmol/L folate when the lyophilised contents of the ampoule are reconstituted with 1 mL of water.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:380–6.

:

Corresponding author: Dr. S.J. Thorpe, Parenterals Section, Biotherapeutics Group, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Blanche Lane, South Mimms, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire EN6 3QG, UK Phone: +44-1707-641251, Fax: +44-1707-641053,

References

1. Working Party of the BCSH General Haematology Task Force. Guidelines on the investigation and diagnosis of cobalamin and folate deficiencies. Clin Lab Haematol 1994;16:101–15.Search in Google Scholar

2. Solomon LR. Cobalamin responsive disorders in the ambulatory care setting: unreliability of cobalamin, methylmalonic acid and homocysteine testing. Blood2005;105:978–85.10.1182/blood-2004-04-1641Search in Google Scholar PubMed

3. Goringe A, Ellis R, McDowell I, Vidal-Alaball J, Jenkins C, Butler C, et al. The limited value of methylmalonic acid, homocysteine, and holotranscobalamin in the diagnosis of early B12 deficiency. Haematologica2006;91:231–4.Search in Google Scholar

4. Curtis AD, Mussett MV, Kennedy DA. British Standard for human serum vitamin B12. Clin Lab Haematol1986;8:135–47.10.1111/j.1365-2257.1986.tb00088.xSearch in Google Scholar PubMed

5. Gunter EW, Bowman BA, Caudill SP, Twite DB, Adams MJ, Sampson EJ. Results of an international round robin for serum and whole-blood folate. Clin Chem1996;42:1689–94.10.1093/clinchem/42.10.1689Search in Google Scholar

6. Thorpe SJ, Sands D, Heath AB, Hamilton MS, Blackmore S, Barrowcliffe T. An International Standard for whole blood folate: evaluation of a lyophilised haemolysate in an international collaborative study. Clin Chem Lab Med2004;42:533–9.10.1515/CCLM.2004.090Search in Google Scholar PubMed

7. Satterfield MB, Sniegoski LT, Sharpless KF, Welch MJ, Hornikova A, Zhang NF, et al. Development of a new standard reference material: SRM 1955 (homocysteine and folate in human serum). Anal Bioanal Chem2006;385:612–22.10.1007/s00216-006-0434-1Search in Google Scholar PubMed

8. Nelson BC, Pfeiffer CM, Margolis SA, Nelson CP. Solid-phase extraction-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry for the quantification of folate in human plasma or serum. Anal Biochem2004;325:41–51.10.1016/j.ab.2003.10.009Search in Google Scholar PubMed

9. Pfeiffer CM, Fazili Z, McCoy L, Zhang M, Gunter EW. Determination of folate vitamers in human serum by stable-isotope-dilution tandem mass spectrometry and comparison with radioassay and microbiologic assay. Clin Chem2004;50:423–32.10.1373/clinchem.2003.026955Search in Google Scholar PubMed

10. Kelleher BP, O'Broin SD. Microbiological assay for vitamin B12 performed in 96-well microtitre plates. J Clin Pathol1991;44:592–5.10.1136/jcp.44.7.592Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

11. O'Broin S, Kelleher B. Microbiological assay on microtitre plates of folate in serum and red cells. J Clin Pathol1992;45:344–7.10.1136/jcp.45.4.344Search in Google Scholar PubMed PubMed Central

12. Kirkwood TB. Predicting the stability of biological standards and products. Biometrics1977;33:736–42.10.2307/2529472Search in Google Scholar

13. WHO. Recommendations for the preparation, characterization and establishment of international and other biological reference materials. WHO/BS/04.1995 (revised 2004). Geneva: World Health Organization.Search in Google Scholar

14. In vitro diagnostic devices – measurement of quantities in biological samples – metrological traceability of values assigned to calibrators and control materials. EN ISO 17511. ISO, 2003.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2007-03-01
Published in Print: 2007-03-01

©2007 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

Downloaded on 4.2.2023 from https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/CCLM.2007.072/html
Scroll Up Arrow