Introduction: Biomarkers reflecting an inflammatory or immunological response are increasingly offered to improve the risk stratification of patients. For example, current evidence suggests that soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) is elevated in patients with acute coronary syndrome. But only a few data are available to evaluate the influence of preanalytic conditions on sCD40L values.
Methods: Blood samples of seven healthy blood donors were collected in tubes without additives and in EDTA- or citrate-filled tubes at various storage conditions. Platelet count was modified by serum dilution, and sCD40L was measured in platelet-rich-plasma and in whole blood. sCD40L levels were determined by an commercially available ELISA-Kit.
Results: Immediately after blood sample assessment, sCD40L levels in serum samples were elevated (1258+/-820 pg/ml) compared to EDTA (64+/-32 pg/ml) and citrate (60+/-8.5 pg/ml) values. Additionally, sCD40L levels were dependent on storage duration. After platelet activation, sCD40L levels were significantly increased to 8278+/-2453 pg/ml and were significantly correlated to platelet count (r=0.96).
Conclusions: Soluble CD40L levels were clearly influenced by preanalytical conditions and were dependent on storage duration, sample technique and platelet count. These influences should be considered by the determination and evaluation of sCD40L concentrations.