General steps to standardize the laboratory measurement of serum total 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Christopher T. Sempos, Joseph M. Betz, Johanna E. Camara, Graham D. Carter, Etienne Cavalier, Michael W. Clarke, Kirsten G. Dowling, Ramon A. Durazo-Arvizu, Andrew N. Hoofnagle, Andy Liu, Karen W. Phinney, Kurtis Sarafin, Stephen A. Wise, Paul M. Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


The Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) has collaborated with numerous groups and agencies to assemble a set of tools, i.e., a reference measurement system, that can be used to establish the traceability of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] assays to relevant reference measurement procedures and reference materials. This is done with the goal of verifying end-user laboratory performance using precise statistical criteria to determine whether a specific assay is standardized. The purpose of this paper was to outline a set of steps that routine clinical and research laboratories can use to standardize their 25(OH)D assays using these tools. These steps apply to laboratories using commercially developed immunoassay measurement systems as well as in-house assays, usually based on high HPLC or LC tandem MS measurement systems. The steps are (1) initial calibration, (2) initial assessment of accuracy and bias, (3) assessment of total percent CV and mean bias, (4) use of trueness controls, and (5) participation in accuracy-based performance testing and/or external quality assessment schemes. The goal of each laboratory assay is to have a total CV of ≤10% and mean bias of ≤5%. Rigorous and less rigorous but low-cost options for meeting these statistical criteria are provided. Research laboratories who infrequently measure 25(OH)D are advised to repeat steps 1-4 for every measurement cycle. For users of commercial immunoassays who have relatively little control over standardization, we present an option for using trueness controls to develop a master equation that can be used to standardize results to the reference methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1230-1233
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of AOAC International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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