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Disease Markers
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 509821, 8 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Different Blood Collection, Sample Matrix, and Immunoassay Methods in a Prenatal Screening Setting

1Centre for Health Protection (GZB), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
2Centre for Infectious Diseases Research, Diagnostics and Screening (IDS), National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
3Department of Obstetrics, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU), P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, The Netherlands

Received 26 May 2014; Accepted 4 July 2014; Published 15 July 2014

Academic Editor: Donald H. Chace

Copyright © 2014 Jeroen L. A. Pennings et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We compared how measurements of pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and the free beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (fβ-hCG) in maternal blood are influenced by different methods for blood collection, sample matrix, and immunoassay platform. Serum and dried blood spots (DBS) were obtained by venipuncture and by finger prick of 19 pregnant women. PAPP-A and fβ-hCG from serum and from DBS were measured by conventional indirect immunoassay on an AutoDELFIA platform and by antibody microarray. We compared methods based on the recoveries for both markers as well as marker levels correlations across samples. All method comparisons showed high correlations for both marker concentrations. Recovery levels of PAPP-A from DBS were 30% lower, while those of fβ-hCG from DBS were 50% higher compared to conventional venipuncture serum. The recoveries were not affected by blood collection or immunoassay method. The high correlation coefficients for both markers indicate that DBS from finger prick can be used reliably in a prenatal screening setting, as a less costly and minimally invasive alternative for venipuncture serum, with great logistical advantages. Additionally, the use of antibody arrays will allow for extending the number of first trimester screening markers on maternal and fetal health.