Toward standardization of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) measurements: III. Performance of native serum and serum spiked with disialotransferrin proves that harmonization of CDT assays is possible

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Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) is a generic term that refers to the transferrin glycoforms whose concentration in blood is temporarily increased by sustained alcohol consumption. Due to high clinical specificity, CDT was proposed as a biomarker of heavy alcohol use and has been available for about 20 years. A number of methods have been developed for CDT measurement based on different analytical techniques and principles and without any harmonization or calibration to a reference method. As a consequence, neither the reference limits nor the cut-off values have been similar across assays, hampering understanding of the diagnostic value of CDT and its routine use. This prompted the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) to initiate a Working Group on Standardization of CDT (WG-CDT). This third publication of the WG-CDT is devoted to testing the commutability of native and disialotransferrin-spiked serum panels as candidate secondary reference materials, in order to prove the harmonization potential of commercial CDT methods. The results showed that assay harmonization reduced the inter-laboratory imprecision in a network of reference laboratories running the HPLC candidate reference method. In the seven commercial methods evaluated in this study, the use of multi-level secondary calibrators of human serum origin significantly reduced the between-method imprecision. Thus, harmonization of CDT measurements by different methods can be achieved using this calibration system, opening the way for a full standardization of commercial methods against a reference method by use of certified reference materials.


  • Cas Weykamp
  • Jos P. M. Wielders
  • Anders Helander
  • Raymond F. Anton
  • Vincenza Bianchi
  • Jan-Olof Jeppsson
  • Carla Siebelder
  • John B. Whitfield
  • Francois Schellenberg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Clinical Laboratory Medicine


  • calibrator, carbohydrate deficient transferrin (CDT), commutability, disialotransferrin, harmonization, HPLC
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-996
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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