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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 47, Issue 2


High concentrations of haptocorrin interfere with routine measurement of cobalamins in human serum and milk. A problem and its solution

Dorte L. Lildballe / Tore F. Hardlei / Lindsay H. Allen
  • 3USDA, ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Centre and Department of Nutrition, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ebba Nexo


Background: Human milk and occasional serum samples contain high concentrations of unsaturated haptocorrin, which influence accurate measurement of cobalamins.

Methods: Cobalamins in serum samples spiked with increasing amounts of unsaturated haptocorrin were measured employing the Centaur, Cobas and Architect analysers. Cobinamide-coated EAH sepharose was employed for pretreatment of the samples. Human milk samples were collected from 24 healthy mothers. Haptocorrin was measured by ELISA.

Results: The measured concentration of cobalamins either increased (Centaur analyser) or decreased (Architect, Cobas analysers) significantly for haptocorrin >10 nM, and was 220%, 52% or 45% of the expected values in a serum sample containing 50 nM haptocorrin. Following pretreatment with cobinamide-sepharose, the expected cobalamin concentration was obtained (Centaur). The milk samples contained 4.5–180 nM haptocorrin. In samples containing >10 nM haptocorrin (n=19), the median concentration of cobalamins decreased from 1.3 nM to 0.67 nM after pretreatment with cobinamide-sepharose.

Conclusions: Haptocorrin in concentrations above 10 nM influences measurement of cobalamins giving rise to falsely elevated or decreased results. Removal of unsaturated haptocorrin by pretreatment with cobinamide-sepharose solves the problem.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:182–7.

Keywords: cobalamin; cobinamide; haptocorrin; human milk; transcobalamin

About the article

Corresponding author: Dorte Launholt Lildballe, Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Aarhus University Hospital, Norrebrogade 44, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark Phone: +45-8949-9743, Fax: +45-8949-3060,

Received: 2008-10-06

Accepted: 2008-11-21

Published in Print: 2009-02-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Volume 47, Issue 2, Pages 182–187, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2009.047.

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