In two work packages of the MARK-AGE project, 37 immunological and physiological biomarkers were measured in 3637 serum, plasma or blood samples in five batches during a period of 4 years. The quality of the serum and plasma samples was very good as judged by the low number of biomarker measurements (only 0.2%) that were rejected because of a high hemolysis, icteria or lipemia of the samples. Using quality control samples, day-to-day and batch variations were determined. The mean inter-assay variation of the five batches were all below 8%, with an average inter-assay coefficient of variation of all biomarkers of 4.0%. Also the precision of the measurements was very good, because all measurements were between 90% and 115% of the defined target values. A possible mix-up of samples was determined by comparison of the extreme testosterone levels of men and women. It was concluded that 3% of the sample identification could be mixed-up. Considering the complex procedure from collection to analysis, including preparation, handling, shipment and storage, of the samples in the MARK-AGE project, both the quality of the samples and the quality of the measurements are very good.
Keywords: Biomarkers; Hemolysis; Quality control.
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