Haemolysis affects insulin but not C-peptide immunoassay

Diabetologia. 1987 Jun;30(6):394-6. doi: 10.1007/BF00292540.


Venous blood was taken at the end of a glucose infusion test in 19 individuals and divided into four aliquots, 3 of which were variably haemolysed by repeated passage through a 23-gauge needle to simulate traumatic venepuncture. Plasma insulin (measured by both a charcoal separation and a double-antibody method), C-peptide, and haemoglobin were measured in each aliquot, and haemolysis was also assessed visibly. A significant loss of immuno-assayable plasma insulin was found in samples with only a trace of visible haemolysis, with up to 90% lost in severely haemolysed samples. Plasma C-peptide was unaffected by haemolysis. This represents an additional advantage for the use of plasma C-peptide in assessing insulin secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • C-Peptide / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Hemolysis*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods


  • C-Peptide
  • Hemoglobins
  • Insulin