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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

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Volume 45, Issue 4 (Apr 2007)


Toward standardization of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) measurements: I. Analyte definition and proposal of a candidate reference method

International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC): Working Group on Standardization of Carbohydrate-deficient Transferrin (IFCC-WG-CDT): Jan-Olof Jeppsson
  • 1Malmö University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden
/ Torsten Arndt
  • 2Bioscientia Institut für Medizinische Diagnostik GmbH, Ingelheim, Germany
/ François Schellenberg
  • 3Hôpital Trousseau, CHRU, Tours, France
/ Jos P.M. Wielders
  • 4Meander Medisch Centrum, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
/ Raymond F. Anton
  • 5Alcohol Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
/ John B. Whitfield
  • 6Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, Australia
/ Anders Helander
  • 7Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden


An alcohol-associated change in the serum transferrin glycoform pattern, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), is used as a biomarker of chronic moderate to heavy alcohol consumption. A current limitation in CDT analysis is the lack of standardization, which hampers clinical and analytical comparison between studies. This situation prompted initiation of a Working Group (WG) on CDT Standardization under the auspices of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC). The standardization work aims to define and validate the analyte, select a reference method, work out procedures for the production of reference materials, and make suggestions for the clinical usage of CDT. The first recommendation of the WG is that disialotransferrin should be the primary target molecule for CDT measurement and the single analyte on which CDT standardization is based. It is further recommended that HPLC should be the analytical principle considered as the basis of an interim reference method until a suitable mass spectrometric reference method is established. In clinical use, CDT should be expressed in a relative amount (% CDT), to compensate for variations in the total transferrin concentration.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:558–62.

Keywords: alcohol biomarker; carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT); disialotransferrin; HPLC; standardization

About the article

Corresponding author: Anders Helander, Chair, IFCC-WG-CDT, Alcohol Laboratory, L7:03, Karolinska University Hospital Solna, 171 76 Stockholm, Sweden Phone: +46-8-51771530, Fax: +46-8-51771532,

Received: 2006-12-19

Published in Print: 2007-04-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 14346621, ISSN (Print) 14374331, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2007.107. Export Citation

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