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Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Biodemography and Social Biology, 3(61), p. 273-284

DOI: 10.1080/19485565.2015.1062717



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Blood Substrate Collection and Handling Procedures under Pseudo-Field Conditions: Evaluation of Suitability for Inflammatory Biomarker Measurement

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This paper is available in a repository.

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Routine incorporation of blood-based biomarker measurements in population studies has been hampered by challenges in obtaining samples suitable for biomarker assessment outside of laboratory settings. Here, we assessed the suitability of venous blood left unprocessed for 4, 24, or 48 hours post-collection at either room temperature or 4°C for quantification of two biomarkers, Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Blood samples were collected in both K2EDTA tubes and a dedicated plasma-preservation tube, P100. Dried blood spot (DBS) samples from the same subjects were also collected in order to compare delayed-processing plasma performance against a popular alternative collection method. We found that K2EDTA mean plasma concentrations of both IL-6 and CRP were not significantly different from concentrations in plasma processed immediately; this was observed for tubes stored up to 48 hours pre-processing at either temperature. Concentrations of IL-6 measured in P100 tubes showed significant time-dependent increases when stored at room temperature; otherwise, levels of IL-6 and CRP were similar to those found in samples processed immediately. Levels of CRP in DBS were correlated with plasma CRP levels, even when pre-processed blood was stored for up to 48 hours. These data indicate that plasma is suitable for IL-6 and CRP estimation under data collection conditions that involve processing delays.