The investigation of interferences in immunoassay

Clin Biochem. 2017 Dec;50(18):1306-1311. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiochem.2017.08.015. Epub 2017 Aug 26.


Immunoassay procedures have a wide application in clinical medicine and as such are used throughout clinical biochemistry laboratories both for urgent and routine testing. Clinicians and laboratory personnel are often presented with immunoassay results which are inconsistent with clinical findings. Without a high index of suspicion interferences will often not be suspected. Artifactual results can be due to a range of interferences in immunoassays which can include cross reacting substances, heterophile antibodies, autoantibodies and the high dose hook effect. Further, pre-analytical aspects and certain disease states can influence the potential for interference in immunoassays. Practical solutions for investigation of artifactual results in the setting of the routine clinical laboratory are provided.

Keywords: Artifactual results; Heterophile; High-dose hook; Immunoassay interference.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts*
  • Autoantibodies / metabolism*
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay


  • Autoantibodies