The Influence of Serum Sample Storage Conditions on Selected Laboratory Parameters Related to Oxidative Stress: A Preliminary Study

Diagnostics (Basel). 2020 Jan 19;10(1):51. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics10010051.


The present work aims at accessing the stability of biological material stored for diagnostic and scientific purposes. The influence of the temperature, storage time, and cyclic thawing on concentration stability of selected oxidative stress parameters in human serum was investigated. The study group consisted of 20 serum samples collected from healthy volunteers aged 18-52. The parameters whose reference ranges were not determined and to which validated determination methods did not correspond were examined by manual methods (FRAP and AOPP). Automatic methods were used to determine routine laboratory tests (albumin, total protein, bilirubin, uric acid) using the Konelab 20i® analyzer. The samples were stored at various temperatures (room temperature, 4 °C, -20 °C, -80 °C) for max 6 months and were subjected to cyclic thawing at 1 month intervals. In order to check whether any differences between the concentrations of the studied parameters existed when the samples were stored in various conditions, the paired Student t-test or Wilcoxon test and comparison to desirable bias were applied. Based on the obtained results, it was found that the temperature and time of serum sample storage significantly affected the stability of the analyzed parameters and determined different shelf lives of serum samples for oxidative stress examination. Therefore, continuing the investigation concerning the impact of storage conditions on various serum parameters seems justified due to the discrepancy between the individual results obtained by different researchers and the inconsistencies between the results of scientific research and the applicable recommendations.

Keywords: blood serum; cyclic thawing; oxidative stress parameters; storage of biological material.