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Orbassano, Italy

Infusino I.,University of Milan | Infusino I.,Laboratorio Analisi | Valente C.,University of Milan | Dolci A.,University of Milan | Panteghini M.,University of Milan
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

The purpose of measurement standardization is to achieve closer comparability of results obtained using different commercial systems. Regarding serum protein immunoassays, a reference preparation (BCR-470) was released in 1993 and adopted by manufacturers across the world to value-assign their assay calibrators for routine methods to reduce method-dependent variation. Moving from nephelometric (Beckman Immage 800) to turbidimetric determination (Roche Cobas c 501) of seven serum proteins, we preliminarily checked the comparability of results between the two systems. The study was performed according to the CLSI EP9-A protocol on 30 fresh sera, tested on each system in duplicate, and subdivided on two different days, without recalibration and using manufacturers' control materials to validate the runs. Both manufacturers' package inserts provide statements that kit calibrators are traceable to BCR-470. Suggested reference intervals are also the same. Although a fairly good correlation was observed (r=0.955), the comparison of ceruloplasmin methods produced evidence of highly significant proportional (regression slope, 0.572) and constant bias (intercept, 0.05 g/L). Absolute and percentage mean differences were -0.11 g/L (95% confidence interval (CI) -0.13 to -0.10 g/L) and -39.1% (CI -43.1 to -35.2%), respectively. No other evaluated proteins showed similar problems. Lacking a ceruloplasmin reference method, it is impossible to demonstrate that one of the two assays produces true ceruloplasmin values. The problem is, however, that results coming from the two assays are clearly not comparable. This may be either due to a lack of commutability of the reference material with biological samples in the evaluated assays or to calibration problems by manufacturers in one of the stages of the calibration hierarchy. © 2009 Springer-Verlag. Source

Banfi G.,University of Milan | Lombardi G.,University of Milan | Colombini A.,University of Milan | Lippi G.,Laboratorio Analisi
Sports Medicine | Year: 2010

Bone mass can be viewed as the net product of two counteracting metabolic processes, bone formation and bone resorption, which allow the skeleton to carry out its principal functions: mechanical support of the body, calcium dynamic deposition and haemopoiesis. Besides radiological methods, several blood and urinary molecules have been identified as markers of bone metabolic activity for estimating the rates and direction of the biological activities governing bone turnover. The advantages for the use of bone metabolism markers are that they are potentially less dangerous than radiological determinations, are more sensitive to changes in bone metabolism than radiological methods and are easily collected and analysed. The disadvantages are that they have high biological variability.Physical exercise is a known source of bone turnover and is recommended for preventing osteoporosis and bone metabolism problems. There are numerous experiments on bone metabolism markers after acute exercise, but not after long-term training and during or after a whole competition season. Moreover, few studies on bone metabolism markers have evaluated their performance in elite and top-level athletes, who have a higher bone turnover than sedentary individuals.Despite discrepant results among studies, most have shown that short exercise is insufficient for modifying serum concentrations of bone metabolism markers. Marker variations are more evident after several hours or days after exercise, bone formation markers are more sensitive than bone resorption markers, and stimulation of osteoblast andor osteoclast functions is exercise dependent but the response is not immediate. The response depends on the type of exercise; the markers seem to be less sensitive to resistance exercise and the intensity of exercise is not discriminate. Comparisons between trained subjects and untrained controls have demonstrated the influence of exercise on bone turnover. During training, carboxy-terminal collagen cross-links (CTx), a bone resorption marker, was shown to be less sensitive than amino-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) and urinary pyridinolines, which were sensitive to anaerobic exercise. Whereas, the bone formation markers, bone alkaline phosphatase (BAP) and osteocalcin (OC) changed after 1 month and 2 months of an exercise programme, respectively. After 2 months, while BAP normalized, it was found to be sensitive to aerobic exercise and OC was found to be sensitive to anaerobic exercise.After prolonged training and competition, bone formation markers are found to change in sedentary subjects enrolled in a physical activity programme. Professional athletes show changes in bone formation markers depending on programme intensity, whereas bone resorption appears to stabilize. Crucial for long-term training, are the characteristics of exercise (e.g. weight-bearing, impact). © 2010 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved. Source

The development of serum assays for free FLC κ and λ has opened the door to new applications increasing their clinical importance beyond monoclonal gammopathies and plasma cell dyscrasias. In particular, the availability of these tests may open new prospects for diagnosing and managing various diseases characterized by chronic inflammation, namely autoimmune disease, allergic disease, viral infections, inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system and others. For most of these diseases, serum polyclonal FLC concentrations correlate with disease activity, being a potential useful index for adjusting therapeutic regimens. The aim of this review is to summarize current available data from the literature and to analyze the possible role of FLC in improving the clinical management of patients with chronic inflammatory disorders. Source

Tozzoli R.,Laboratorio Of Patologia Clinica | Bonaguri C.,Laboratorio Diagnostica Ematochimica | Melegari A.,Laboratorio Of Tossicologia E Diagnostica Avanzata | Antico A.,Laboratorio Analisi | And 2 more authors.
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2013

The methods for detecting and measuring autoantibodies have evolved markedly in recent years, encompassing three generations of analytical technologies. Many different immunoassay methods have been developed and used for research and laboratory practice purposes, from the early conventional (or monoplex) analytical methods able to detect single autoantibodies to the more recent multiplex platforms that can quantify tens of molecules. Although it has been in use for over 50 years, indirect immunofluorescence remains the standard method for research on many types of autoantibodies, due to its characteristics of diagnostic sensitivity and also to recent technological innovations which permit it a greater level of automation and standardization. The recent multiplex immunometric methods, with varying levels of automation, present characteristics of higher diagnostic accuracy, but are not yet widely diffused in autoimmunology laboratories due to the limited number of autoantibodies that are detectable, and due to the high cost of reagents and systems. Technological advancement in autoimmunology continues to evolve rapidly, and in the coming years new proteomic techniques will be able to radically change the approach to diagnostics and possibly also clinical treatment of autoimmune diseases. The scope of this review is to update the state of the art of technologies and methods for the measurement of autoantibodies, with special reference to innovations in indirect immunofluorescence and in multiple proteomic methods. Source

Bizzaro N.,Laboratorio Of Patologia Clinica | Antico A.,Laboratorio Analisi | Platzgummer S.,Laboratorio Centrale | Tonutti E.,Immunopatologia e Allergologia | And 5 more authors.
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2014

Background: Indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) plays an important role in immunological assays for detecting and measuring autoantibodies. However, the method is burdened by some unfavorable features: the need for expert morphologists, the subjectivity of interpretation, and a low degree of standardization and automation. Following the recent statement by the American College of Rheumatology that the IIF technique should be considered as the standard screening method for the detection of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), the biomedical industry has developed technological solutions which might significantly improve automation of the procedure, not only in the preparation of substrates and slides, but also in microscope reading. Methods: We collected 104 ANA-positive sera from patients with a confirmed clinical diagnosis of autoimmune disease and 40 ANA-negative sera from healthy blood donors. One aliquot of each serum, without information about pattern and titer, was sent to six laboratories of our group, where the sera were tested with the IIF manual method provided by each of the six manufacturers of automatic systems. Assignment of result (pos/neg), of pattern and titer was made by consensus at a meeting attended by all members of the research team. Result was assigned if consensus for pos/neg was reached by at least four of six certifiers, while for the pattern and for the titer, the value observed with higher frequency (mode) was adopted. Seventeen ANA-positive sera and six ANA-negative sera were excluded. Therefore, the study with the following automatic instrumentation was conducted on 92 ANA-positive sera and on 34 ANA-negative sera: Aklides, EUROPattern, G-Sight (I-Sight-IFA), Helios, Image Navigator, and Nova View. Analytical imprecision was measured in five aliquots of the same serum, randomly added to the sample series. Results: Overall sensitivity of the six automated systems was 96.7% and overall specificity was 89.2%. Most false negatives were recorded for cytoplasmic patterns, whereas among nuclear patterns those with a low level of fluorescence (i.e., multiple nuclear dots, midbody, nuclear rim) were sometimes missed.The intensity values of the light signal of various instruments showed a good correlation with the titer obtained by manual reading (Spearman's rho between 0.672 and 0.839; P. <. 0.0001 for all the systems). Imprecision ranged from 1.99% to 25.2% and, for all the systems, it was lower than that obtained by the manual IIF test (39.1%). The accuracy of pattern recognition, which is for now restricted to the most typical patterns (homogeneous, speckled, nucleolar, centromere, multiple nuclear dots and cytoplasmic) was limited, ranging from 52% to 79%. Conclusions: This study, which is the first to compare the diagnostic accuracy of six systems for automated ANA-IIF reading on the same series of sera, showed that all systems are able to perform very well the task for which they were created. Indeed, cumulative automatic discrimination between positive and negative samples had 95% accuracy. All the manufacturers are actively continuing the development of new and more sophisticated software for a better definition in automatic recognition of patterns and light signal conversion in end-point titer. In the future, this may avert the need for serum dilution for titration, which will be a great advantage in economic terms and time-saving. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. Source

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