Preparation, calibration and evaluation of the First International Standard for human C-peptide

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Background:Measurement of C-peptide by immunoassay contributes to the diagnosis of a number of disorders related to β cell function. Stocks of the current international reference reagent (IRR) for C-peptide, used to calibrate these immunoassays, are exhausted, and this report summarises the international study to establish a replacement World Health Organization (WHO) international standard (IS) to maintain the availability of a globally available reference material and support efforts to standardise C-peptide assays.Methods:The study was conducted in three phases; phase I involved the assignment of a value to a primary calibrant in mass units by amino acid analysis and phase II applied this value to the calibration of a candidate standard, 13/146, by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) assay. In phase III, the candidate standard was compared to the first IRR by current immunoassays to assess its suitability to serve as an IS.Results:Calibration of the candidate standard by RP-HPLC gave a final estimated content of 8.64 μg/ampoule with expanded uncertainty of 8.21-9.07 μg/ampoule (95% confidence; k=2.45). The candidate standard also appears sufficiently stable to serve as an IS, based on HPLC analysis of accelerated thermal degradation samples of 13/146, and was also shown to have appropriate immunological activity. A difference in bias approach was used to assess the commutability of 13/146 with human serum and urine samples. With the exception of two laboratories, the candidate standard demonstrated commutability with respect to the serum and urine samples included in this study.Conclusions:The candidate standard, 13/146, is suitable to serve as the First International Standard for human C-peptide, and it has been formally adopted by the Expert Committee on Biological Standardisation of the WHO.

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