Poor specificity and recovery of urinary free cortisol as determined by the Bayer ADVIA Centaur extraction method

Ann Clin Biochem 2003;40:563-565
doi:10.1258/000456303322326506
© 2003 Association for Clinical Biochemistry

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G Gray,
L Shakerdi and
AM Wallace


Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Macewen Building, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK;
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Macewen Building, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK;
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Macewen Building, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK


Background: Immunoassay methods for urinary free cortisol (UFC)lack specificity, and many procedures have not been fully evaluatedfor routine use. In the current study we evaluated the BayerADVIA Centaur extraction UFC immunoassay and compared resultsto those obtained by a specific gas chromatography-mass spectrometry(GC-MS) method.

Results: The Bayer ADVIA Centaur cortisol assay lacked specificity.Cortisone, a steroid present in urine at concentrations similarto those of cortisol, demonstrated a cross-reactivity of 44%.In addition, the choice of matrix used to resuspend steroidsafter solvent extraction from urine affected recovery. Recoverywas improved if the recommended urine reconstruction bufferwas replaced by steroid-free serum.

Conclusion: Irrespective of the sample matrix used, the Centaurmethod overestimates UFC, giving results up to twice those obtainedby a specific GC-MS method.

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