Macroprolactin on the Advia Centaur: experience with 409 patients over a three-year period

This version was published on 1 November 2009

Ann Clin Biochem 2009;46:501-504
© 2009 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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N F Jassam,
A Paterson,
C Lippiatt and
J H Barth

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK

Corresponding author: N F Jassam. Email: nuthar.jassam{at}

Introduction: Macroprolactin (MPRL) is an important source of interferencethat may lead to misdiagnosis and mismanagement of hyperprolactinaemicpatients. Prolactin assays exhibit considerable variation inthe detection of MPRL. In this study, we examine the requirementfor polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation in the analysisof hyperprolactinaemia detected by the Advia Centaur as it hasa relatively low reactivity with MPRL.

Methods: Four hundreds and sixty-four hyperprolactinaemic samples werecollected from the laboratory information system for Saint JamesUniversity Hospital over a three-year period. These sampleswere screened for MPRL using PEG precipitation protocol. Monomericprolactin concentration post-PEG precipitation was comparedwith a reference range determined by PEG precipitation in normalsubjects.

Results: MPRL was the cause of hyperprolactinaemia in 4% of patients(16/409) over the three-year period studied. Nine subjects withMPRL also had elevated monomeric prolactin.

Conclusions: PEG screening is still needed for assays with low MPRL reactivitysuch as the Advia Centaur and this should be performed witha locally derived reference range for monomeric prolactin.

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