Enzyme-linked immunoassay for plasma-free metanephrines in the biochemical diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma in adults is not ideal.
AffiliationDepartment of Chemical Pathology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationClin Chem Lab Med. 2011 Oct 8.
JournalClinical chemistry and laboratory medicine : CCLM / FESCC
AbstractAbstract Background: The aim of the study was to define the analytical and diagnostic performance of the Labor Diagnostica Nord (LDN) 2-Met plasma ELISA assay for fractionated plasma metanephrines in the biochemical diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma. Methods: The stated manufacturer's performance characteristics were assessed. Clinical utility was evaluated against liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using bias, sensitivity and specificity outcomes. Samples (n=73) were collected from patients in whom phaeochromocytoma had been excluded (n=60) based on low probability of disease, repeat negative testing for urinary fractionated catecholamines and metanephrines, lack of radiological and histological evidence of a tumour and from a group (n=13) in whom the tumour had been histologically confirmed. Blood collected into k(2)EDTA tubes was processed within 30 min. Separated plasma was aliquoted (x2) and frozen at -40 degrees C prior to analyses. One aliquot was analysed for plasma metanephrines using the LDN 2-Met ELISA and the other by LC-MS/MS. Results: The mean bias of -32% for normetanephrine (ELISA) when compared to the reference method (LC-MS/MS) makes under-diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma likely. The sensitivity of the assay (100%) was equal to the reference method, but specificity (88.3%) lower than the reference method (95%), making it less than optimum for the biochemical diagnosis of phaeochromocytoma. Conclusions: Plasma-free metanephrines as measured by Labor Diagnostica Nord (LDN) 2-Met ELISA do not display test characteristics that would support their introduction or continuation as part of a screening protocol for the biochemical detection of phaeochromocytoma unless the calibration problem identified is corrected and other more accurate and analytically specific methods remain unavailable.
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