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Vitamin D testing by blood spot card is pretty good – Jan 2011

Agreement of Blood Spot Card Measurements of Vitamin D Levels with Serum, Whole Blood Specimen Types and a Dietary Recall Instrument

PLoS One. 2011; 6(1): e16602. Published online 2011 January 31. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0016602.
Emma K. Larkin,1* Tebeb Gebretsadik,2 Nathan Koestner,1 Mark S. Newman,3 Zhouwen Liu,2 Kecia N. Carroll,4 Patricia Minton,1 Kim Woodward,1 and Tina V. Hartert1
1Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America
2Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America
3ZRT Laboratory, Beaverton, Oregon, United States of America
4Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America
Virginia Vitzthum, Editor; Indiana University, United States of America

Received August 30, 2010; Accepted December 27, 2010.

Background
The ability to measure 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels from blood spot cards can simplify sample collection versus samples obtained by venipuncture, particularly in populations in whom it is difficult to draw blood. We sought to validate the use of blood spot samples for the measurement of 25OHD compared to serum or whole blood samples and correlate the measured levels with intake estimated from dietary recall.

Methods
Utilizing 109 biological mothers of infants enrolled in the Tennessee Children's Respiratory Initiative cohort, we measured 25OHD levels through highly selective liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry on samples from blood spot cards, serum, and whole blood collected at enrollment. Dietary questionnaires (n = 65) were used to assess 25OHD intake by dietary recall. Sample collection measures were assessed for agreement and 25OHD levels for association with dietary 25OHD intake.

Results
The mean absolute differences (95%CI) in 25OHD levels measured between whole blood and blood spot (n = 50 pairs) or serum and blood spot (n = 20) were 3.2 (95%CI:1.6, 4.8) ng/ml and 1.5 (95%CI:?0.5,3.4) ng/mL. Intake by dietary recall was marginally associated with 25OHD levels after adjustment for current smoking and race in linear regression.

Discussion
25OHD levels determined by mass spectrometry from blood spot cards, serum and whole blood show relatively good agreement, although 25OHD levels are slightly lower when measured by blood spot cards. Blood spot samples are a less invasive means of obtaining 25OHD measurements, particularly in large population-based samples, or among children when venipuncture may decrease study participation.

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