Characteristics and reference ranges of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I measured with a commercially available immunoassay in 724 healthy adult Caucasians

Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2009;69(8):880-5. doi: 10.3109/00365510903165477.


Background and objective: Measurements of Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) play a pivotal role in the evaluation of the growth hormone-IGF-I axis. Due to assay variation IGF-I reference ranges are assay specific. We provide serum IGF-I reference ranges for adult men and women obtained by a commercially available assay.

Method: IGF-I was measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (R&D Systems). Assay precision was evaluated in low, medium and high IGF-I pools and in single samples from outpatients. The reference ranges were obtained in 724 healthy Caucasians, mean age 48 years (range 19-91).

Results: IGF-I was measured higher in serum compared to plasma samples (p<0.001, R2=0.96). To convert EDTA plasma values to serum values a factor of 1.22 was calculated. The intraassay coefficients of variation (CV) for the low: 56.4+/-2.7 ng/mL, medium: 179.7+/-5.9 ng/mL and high pool: 445.61+/-3.2 ng/mL (mean 1 SD) were 5, 3 and 3%. Interassays CVs for the low, medium and high pool varied between 7-10, 5-7, and 6-9%. Reproducibility between 4 different lots showed a intraclass CV of 0.99 (95%CI 0.98-0.96). Logarithmically transformed IGF-I levels were linearly associated with age with a 13% reduction in IGF-I per decade in females and 11% in males.

Conclusion: We have provided IGF-I reference ranges obtained by an assay that showed variations and reproducibility that was considered of sufficient high quality for clinical and scientific use.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic*
  • Reference Standards
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Young Adult


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I