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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2013, Article ID 890706, 13 pages
Research Article

Multiplex Cytokine Concentration Measurement: How Much Do the Medium and Handling Matter?

1Neuroscience Research Australia, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
2Prince of Wales Clinical School, The University of New South Wales, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
3Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Edward Ford Building A27, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
4Centre for Infection and Inflammation Research, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
5The Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia, North Terrace, SA 5000, Australia

Received 13 April 2013; Revised 1 July 2013; Accepted 15 July 2013

Academic Editor: Elaine Hatanaka

Copyright © 2013 Luke Parkitny 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.


Cytokine concentrations are thought to be affected by methods of sampling and processing and by storage conditions. In this study we compared 17 cytokine concentrations obtained from plasma and serum at baseline and after a controlled thaw condition. We found that absolute agreement was poor between concentrations of cytokines in plasma and serum, except for MIP1β. A thaw condition significantly changed the concentrations of most cytokines, but serum appeared less affected by this than plasma was. Closer examination using Bland-Altman analyses revealed that for each comparison, agreement was moderately good for many cytokine concentrations. This is important because measures of agreement must be interpreted based on the required precision, which may differ between clinical and research demands. We also identified that for some cytokines, the relationship between serum and plasma is affected by concentration, thus advocating for the use of appropriate methods when performing such comparisons in studies such as systematic reviews and meta-analyses.