Standard operating procedures for pre-analytical handling of blood and urine for metabolomic studies and biobanks

J Biomol NMR. 2011 Apr;49(3-4):231-43. doi: 10.1007/s10858-011-9489-1. Epub 2011 Mar 5.


(1)H NMR metabolic profiling of urine, serum and plasma has been used to monitor the impact of the pre-analytical steps on the sample quality and stability in order to propose standard operating procedures (SOPs) for deposition in biobanks. We analyzed the quality of serum and plasma samples as a function of the elapsed time (t = 0-4 h) between blood collection and processing and of the time from processing to freezing (up to 24 h). The stability of the urine metabolic profile over time (up to 24 h) at various storage temperatures was monitored as a function of the different pre-analytical treatments like pre-storage centrifugation, filtration, and addition of the bacteriostatic preservative sodium azide. Appreciable changes in the profiles, reflecting changes in the concentration of a number of metabolites, were detected and discussed in terms of chemical and enzymatic reactions for both blood and urine samples. Appropriate procedures for blood derivatives collection and urine preservation/storage that allow maintaining as much as possible the original metabolic profile of the fresh samples emerge, and are proposed as SOPs for biobanking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks / standards*
  • Blood*
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Humans
  • Metabolome
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Preservation, Biological
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Specimen Handling / standards
  • Urine*