Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) is a descriptive term used for a temporary change in the transferrin glycosylation profile caused by alcohol, and used as a biomarker of chronic high alcohol consumption. The use of an array of methods for measurement of CDT in various absolute or relative amounts, and sometimes covering different transferrin glycoforms, has complicated the comparability of results and caused confusion among medical staff. This situation prompted initiation of an IFCC Working Group on CDT standardization. This second publication of the WG-CDT covers the establishment of a network of reference laboratories running a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) candidate reference measurement procedure, and evaluation of candidate secondary reference materials. The network laboratories demonstrated good and reproducible performance and thus can be used to assign target values for calibrators and controls. A candidate secondary reference material based on native human serum lyophilized with a cryo-/lyoprotectant to prevent protein denaturation was found to be commutable and stable during storage. A proposed strategy for calibration of different CDT methods is also presented. In an external quality assurance study involving 66 laboratories and covering the current routine CDT assays (HPLC, capillary electrophoresis and immunoassay), recalculation of observed results based on the nominal values for the candidate calibrator reduced the overall coefficient of variation from 18.9% to 5.5%. The logistics for distribution of reference materials and review of results were found to be functional, indicating that a full reference system for CDT may soon be available.
Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:1585–92.
©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York