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Background: Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) are implicated in many normal physiological processes and pathological states, including cancer. For large consortia projects, it may be necessary to make comparisons among studies with different specimens that were not collected specifically to optimize the measurement of IGFs.
Objective: This study aimed to compare IGFs in matched serum and plasma samples.
Methods: We measured IGF-I, IGF-II, insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP)-3, C-peptide, and leptin in serum and ethylenediaminetetraacetic–containing-plasma samples obtained concurrently from 30 healthy women aged 64–80 years in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial using chemiluminescent or colorimetric enzyme-linked immune assays. Coefficients of variation (CVs) and correlations were determined.
Results: Intraassay CVs ranged from 0.4% for IGFBP-3 to 10% for IGF-II. Mean concentrations of all analytes were higher in the serum, but the differences in mean concentrations of the analytes between serum and plasma were all <11%. Concordance correlation coefficients of matched serum/plasma specimens were 0.92, 0.91, 0.82, 0.96, and 0.99 for IGF-I, IGFBP-3, IGF-II, C-peptide, and leptin, respectively.
Conclusion: IGF concentrations measured in serum and plasma are highly correlated but are consistently slightly higher in serum, suggesting that IGF values should be corrected for systematic bias, particularly in consortial efforts when pooling data derived from different specimens.
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