Standardization of preanalytical aspects of cerebrospinal fluid biomarker testing for Alzheimer's disease diagnosis: a consensus paper from the Alzheimer's Biomarkers Standardization Initiative

Alzheimers Dement. 2012 Jan;8(1):65-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jalz.2011.07.004. Epub 2011 Nov 2.


Background: Numerous studies show that the cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers total tau (T-tau), tau phosphorylated at threonine 181 (P-tau(181P)), and amyloid-β (1-42) (Aβ(1-42)) have high diagnostic accuracy for Alzheimer's disease. Variability in concentrations for Aβ(1-42), T-tau, and P-tau(181P) drives the need for standardization.

Methods: Key issues were identified and discussed before the first meeting of the members of the Alzheimer's Biomarkers Standardization Initiative (ABSI). Subsequent ABSI consensus meetings focused on preanalytical issues.

Results: Consensus was reached on preanalytical issues such as the effects of fasting, different tube types, centrifugation, time and temperature before storage, storage temperature, repeated freeze/thaw cycles, and length of storage on concentrations of Aβ(1-42), T-tau, and P-tau(181P) in cerebrospinal fluid.

Conclusions: The consensus reached on preanalytical issues and the recommendations put forward during the ABSI consensus meetings are presented in this paper.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Consensus*
  • Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Humans
  • Peptide Fragments / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Quality Control
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)
  • tau Proteins