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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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1437-4331
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In This Section
Volume 46, Issue 9 (Sep 2008)

Issues

Variability in longitudinal cerebrospinal fluid tau and phosphorylated tau measurements

Nicolaas A. Verwey
  • 1Neurology Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Clinical Chemistry Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
/ Femke H. Bouwman
  • 2Neurology Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
/ Wiesje M. van der Flier
  • 3Neurology Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
/ Rob Veerhuis
  • 4Clinical Chemistry Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
/ Philip Scheltens
  • 5Neurology Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
/ Marinus A. Blankenstein
  • 6Clinical Chemistry Department, VU University Medical Center, Alzheimer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Published Online: 2008-07-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2008.241

Abstract

Background: The influence of assay variation and duration of storage on changes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of tau and phosphorylated (P)-tau with time was evaluated in 112 patients with various neurological disorders.

Methods: These patients (aged 66±9 years, 52% male), referred to our memory clinic, underwent two spinal taps (mean interval 19 months) and the baseline samples were assayed twice in a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA): once after the first spinal tap (A1) and once in a separately stored aliquot (A2) simultaneous with the follow-up sample (B).

Results: Coefficients of variances (CVs) of tau and P-tau levels determined in repeated spinal taps (ΔB–A2) measured in one assay (10.9% and 7.6%) were lower (p<0.01) than the CVs observed in two different (ΔB–A1) assays (16.5% and 11.7%). The CVs of tau and P-tau measurement of one CSF sample repeated on two occasions (ΔA1–A2) were 12.3% and 8.6%. A difference in mean P-tau level was found if the same CSF samples were repeatedly measured in two different ELISAs (A1–A2).

Conclusions: Longitudinal CSF tau and P-tau are best measured in one assay resulting in a lower variability compared to measurement in two different assays. The within person variability in levels of these markers currently limits the use of these ELISAs in a longitudinal clinical setting.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2008;46:1300–4.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; biomarker; cerebrospinal fluid; phosphorylated (P)-tau; tau

About the article

Corresponding author: N.A. Verwey, MD, Department Clinical Chemistry, VU University Medical Center, P.O. Box 7057, 1007, Amsterdam, The Netherlands Phone: +31-204443868,


Received: 2008-02-12

Accepted: 2008-04-21

Published Online: 2008-07-07

Published in Print: 2008-09-01



Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2008.241. Export Citation

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