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

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 3.556

CiteScore 2017: 2.34

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 1.114
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.188

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Volume 55, Issue 7


The effect of storage temperature fluctuations on the stability of biochemical analytes in blood serum

Helmuth HaslacherORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4605-2503 / Thomas Szekeres / Marlene Gerner / Elisabeth Ponweiser / Manuela Repl / Oswald F. Wagner / Thomas Perkmann
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Laboratory Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria, Phone: +43 1 40400 53490, Fax: +43 1 40400 53890
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Published Online: 2016-12-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2016-0608



Irreproducibility of scientific results constitutes an undesirably onerous economic burden and is in many cases caused by low-quality materials. Therefore, researchers are increasingly devoting their attention to the bioresources they use. In turn, those bioresources are required to validate their preanalytical processes in order to ensure best possible quality. The present study thus aimed to evaluate the impact of repeated temperature fluctuations, as they occur in most research biobanks due to repetitive opening and closing of freezer doors, on the stability of 26 biochemical analytes.


Serum of 43 individuals was randomly assigned to a fluctuation (n=21) and a control group (n=22). Serum of the fluctuation group underwent controlled temperature fluctuations (30 fluctuations <−75°C – <−65°C – <−75°C under real-life freezer conditions within 21 days). Control sera were stored at constant conditions. After 10, 20, and 30 fluctuations, results derived from the fluctuation group were compared to baseline and to the control group by means of general linear models.


Sixteen biomarkers showed statistically significant changes over time, whereas only seven of those presented with diagnostically/clinically relevant changes at certain time points (aspartate aminotransferase, amylase, calcium, uric acid, creatinine, inorganic phosphate and total protein). However, there was no difference between the fluctuation and the control group.


Some serum analytes are influenced by storage, even at temperatures as low as <−70°C. In contrast, we found no evidence that complex temperature fluctuations produced by storage of and access to biospecimens in biobank freezers generate any additional variability.

Keywords: biobank; biochemical; clinical chemistry; storage; temperature fluctuations


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About the article

Received: 2016-07-08

Accepted: 2016-10-12

Published Online: 2016-12-19

Published in Print: 2017-06-27

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM), Volume 55, Issue 7, Pages 974–983, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cclm-2016-0608.

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