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

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Abstract

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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