3 years ago

Two International Round-Robin Studies Showed Good Comparability of 5-Methyltetrahydrofolate but Poor Comparability of Folic Acid Measured in Serum by Different High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry Methods.

Pfeiffer CM, Paladugula N, Fazili Z, Sternberg MR
Background: Serum folate methods produce different results. The comparability of HPLC-mass spectrometry (MS)/MS methods is not well documented.Objective: We conducted an international "round-robin" investigation to assess the comparability, precision, and accuracy of serum folate HPLC-MS/MS methods.Methods: The CDC laboratory, 7 laboratories with independently developed methods (group 1), and 6 laboratories with an adapted CDC method (group 2) analyzed folate forms in 6 serum pools and 6 calibrators from the CDC (duplicate analysis over 2 d) and in two 3-level reference materials (duplicate analysis).Results: All laboratories measured 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-methylTHF) and folic acid; some measured additional folate forms. The geometric mean (range) concentrations (nanomoles per liter) for 5-methylTHF in the 6 serum pools were 18.3 nmol/L (CDC), 13.8-28.9 nmol/L (group 1), and 16.8-18.6 nmol/L (group 2); for folic acid the concentrations were 3.42 nmol/L (CDC), 1.09-4.74 nmol/L (group 1), and 1.74-2.90 nmol/L (group 2). The median imprecision (CV) for 5-methylTHF was 4.1% (CDC), 4.6-11% (group 1), and 1.7-6.0% (group 2); for folic acid it was 6.9% (CDC), 4.9-20% (group 1), and 3.9-23% (group 2). The mean ± SD (range) recovery of 5-methylTHF spiked into serum was 98% ± 27% (59-138%) for group 1 and 98% ± 10% (82-111%) for group 2; for folic acid it was 93% ± 29% (67-198%) for group 1 and 81% ± 16% (64-102%) for group 2. The mean relative bias for 5-methylTHF compared with the reference material certificate value was 12% (CDC), -24% to 30% (group 1), and -0.6% to 16% (group 2); for folic acid it was 73% (CDC), -47% to 578% (group 1), and -3.3% to 67% (group 2).Conclusions: For 5-methylTHF, group 2 laboratories demonstrated better agreement and precision, less variable spiking recovery, and less bias by using a reference material. Laboratory performance for folic acid was highly variable and needs improvement. Certified reference materials for serum folate forms and total folate are needed to improve method accuracy.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28768831

DOI: PubMed:28768831

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