Longer pre-centrifugation times alter the quality of serum and plasma samples. Markers for such delays in sample processing and hence for the sample quality, have been identified. Twenty cytokines in serum, EDTA plasma and citrate plasma samples were screened for changes in concentration induced by extended blood pre-centrifugation delays at room temperature. The two cytokines that showed the largest changes were further validated for their "diagnostic performance" in identifying serum or plasma samples with extended pre-centrifugation times. In this study, using R&D Systems ELISA kits, EDTA plasma samples and serum samples with a pre-centrifugation delay longer than 24 h had an IL16 concentration higher than 313 pg/mL, and an IL8 concentration higher than 125 pg/mL, respectively. EDTA plasma samples with a pre-centrifugation delay longer than 48 h had an IL16 concentration higher than 897 pg/mL, citrate plasma samples had an IL8 concentration higher than 21.5 pg/mL and serum samples had an IL8 concentration higher than 528 pg/mL. These robust and accurate tools, based on simple and commercially available ELISA assays can greatly facilitate qualification of serum and plasma legacy collections with undocumented pre-analytics.
- quality control