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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 / Greaves, Ronda / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Payne, Deborah A. / Schlattmann, Peter

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.638

CiteScore 2018: 2.44

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 1.191
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.205

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Volume 42, Issue 8


Long-term stability of endogenous B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and amino terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) in frozen plasma samples

Thomas Mueller / Alfons Gegenhuber / Benjamin Dieplinger / Werner Poelz / Meinhard Haltmayer
Published Online: 2011-09-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2004.153


The aim of the present study was to assess the long-term stability of endogenous B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) and amino terminal proBNP (NT-proBNP) in plasma samples stored at –20°C without addition of protease inhibitors (e.g., aprotinin). Stability of BNP and NT-proBNP was tested in 60 EDTA plasma samples with BNP values between 30 and 420 pg/ml. Initial BNP and NT-proBNP plasma concentrations were determined within four hours after blood collection using the AxSYM BNP and the Elecsys NT-proBNP assays. Subsequently, all samples were stored at –20°C and were thawed for the second BNP and NT-proBNP determination on the two instruments after one day, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days and 120 days, respectively. Mean recovery (i.e., residual immunoreactivity) of BNP and NT-proBNP expressed in percent of the initial value for the given time interval of storage was calculated. Mean recovery of BNP was less than 70% after one day of storage at –20°C and decreased to less than 50% after two to four months of storage (e.g., recovery of endogenous BNP after three months of storage at –20°C ranging from 0% to 71%). In contrast, mean recovery of NT-proBNP was generally greater than 90%, irrespective of the duration of storage at –20°C (e.g., recovery of endogenous NT-proBNP after three months of storage at –20°C ranging from 91% to 112%). In conclusion, the determination of endogenous BNP with the AxSYM assay using frozen plasma samples may not be valid under the conditions tested. In contrast, NT-proBNP as measured by the Elecsys assay may be stored at –20°C for at least four months without a relevant loss of the immunoreactive analyte.

Keywords: evaluation; heart failure; natriuretic peptides; plasma; stability


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About the article

Corresponding author: Meinhard Haltmayer, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Konventhospital Barmherzige Brueder, Seilerstaette 2, 4021 Linz, Austria. Phone: +43-732-7897-2201, Fax: +43-732-7897-2299, E-mail:

Received: 2004-02-23

Accepted: 2004-04-27

Published Online: 2011-09-21

Published in Print: 2004-08-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 42, Issue 8, Pages 942–944, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2004.153.

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