Limitations of platform assays to measure serum 25OHD level impact on guidelines and practice decision making

Maya Rahme, Laila Al-Shaar, Ravinder Singh, Rafic Baddoura, Georges Halaby, Asma Arabi, Robert H. Habib, Rose Daher, Darina Bassil, Karim El-Ferkh, Maha Hoteit, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Context: Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS) is the preferred method to measure 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels, but laboratories are increasingly adopting automated platform assays. Objective: We assessed the performance of commonly used automated immunoassays, with that of LC-MS/MS, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reference values, to measure 25OHD levels. Methods/Setting: We compared serum 25OHD levels obtained from 219 elderly subjects, enrolled in a vitamin D trial, using the Diasorin Liaison platform assay, and the tandem LC-MS/MS method. We also assessed the performance of the Diasorin and Roche automated assays, expressed as mean % bias from the NIST standards, based on the vitamin D External Quality Assessment Scheme (DEQAS) reports, from 2013 to 2017. Results: Serum 25OHD levels were significantly lower in the Diasorin compared to LC-MS/MS assay at baseline, 18.5 ± 7.8 vs 20.5 ± 7.6 ng/ml (p < 0.001), and all other time points. Diasorin (25OHD) = 0.76 × LC-MS/MS (25OHD) + 4.3, R 2 = 0.596. The absolute bias was independent of 25OHD values, and the pattern unfit for any cross-calibration. The proportion of subjects considered for vitamin D treatment based on pre-set cut-offs differed significantly between the 2 assays. There also was wide variability in the performance of both automated assays, compared to NIST reference values. Conclusion: The performance of most widely used automated assays is sub-optimal. Our findings underscore the pressing need to re-consider current practices with regard to 25OHD measurements, interpretation of results from research studies, meta-analyses, the development of vitamin D guidelines, and their relevance to optimizing health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
StatePublished - Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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