Printer Friendly

Vitros digoxin immunoassay evaluated for interference by digoxin-like immunoreactive factors.

Serum digoxin digoxin: see digitalis.  concentrations are routinely monitored because of the narrow therapeutic range of digoxin. Endogenous digoxin-like immunoreactive factors (DLIFs) may cause a false analytic increase in the measured digoxin concentration of patients undergoing digoxin treatment (1, 2). DLIF interference is most commonly found in the sera of neonates, and cord blood cord blood
Blood present in the umbilical vessels at the time of delivery.
 and neonatal sera frequently produce false positive results for digoxin (3, 4). Here we examine the newly introduced Vitros digoxin immunoassay Immunoassay

An assay that quantifies antigen or antibody by immunochemical means. The antigen can be a relatively simple substance such as a drug, or a complex one such as a protein or a virus.
 (DGXN, Johnson & Johnson Clinical Diagnostics) performed on the Vitros 250 analyzer and compare it to a method (Online, Roche Diagnostic Systems) substantially free from DLIF interference (5) and to a method (Digoxin II, Abbott Laboratories) where DLIF interference is known to be present (1). These particular methods are not unique with regard to interference by DLIFs, and methods vary considerably in the impact of DLIF interferences (1, 2, 6, 7).

Serum samples used in this study were aliquots of samples that had been sent to St. Louis Children's Hospital St. Louis Children's Hospital is a pediatric hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, and is one of the premier children's hospitals in the United States. Children's Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine, ranked the 4th best medical school  or Barnes-Jewish laboratories (BJC BJC British Journal of Cancer
BJC Baptist Joint Committee
BJC Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC
BJC Bryce Jordan Center (Penn State University building)
BJC Barnes-Jewish/Christian (BJC Healthcare) 
 Health System) for the routine measurement of serum digoxin or aliquots of samples received for other routine chemistry analyses. Samples were from newborns (<2 weeks of age) and from adults. The study followed a protocol approved by the Human Studies Committee of Washington University. All samples were analyzed immediately or stored at -20[degrees]C until use, with no more than three freeze-thaw cycles preceding analysis.

The Vitros DGXN digoxin assay is an enzymatic heterogeneous, competitive immunoassay that uses dry slide technology. Digoxin-peroxidase conjugate conjugate /con·ju·gate/ (kon´jdbobr-gat)
1. paired, or equally coupled; working in unison.

2. a conjugate diameter of the pelvic inlet; used alone usually to denote the true conjugate diameter; see
 and sample digoxin compete for a limited number of binding sites on the immobilized antibody reagent. After the unbound unbound

said of electrolytes, e.g. iron and calcium, and other substances which are circulating in the bloodstream and are not bound to plasma proteins so that they are available immediately for metabolic processes. See also calcium, iron.
 conjugate is eluted and the leuco dye A leuco dye is a dye whose molecules can acquire two forms, one of which is colorless.

For example, the spiro form of an oxazine is a colorless leuco dye; the conjugated system of the oxazine and another aromatic part of the molecule is separated by a sp3
 substrate is added, the rate of dye formation is inversely proportional to the concentration of digoxin in the sample. The Online digoxin assay (Roche) is a homogeneous microparticle immunoassay based on the aggregation of digoxin-coated microparticles in the presence of anti-digoxin antibody. Digoxin in the sample partially inhibits aggregation, and the rate of aggregation (as measured by light scattering) is inversely related to the digoxin concentration. The Digoxin II assay (Abbott) is a homogeneous, microparticle enzyme immunoassay that utilizes digoxin-alkaline phosphatase phosphatase /phos·pha·tase/ (-tas) any of a group of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolytic cleavage of inorganic phosphate from esters.

 conjugate and the substrate 4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate. The concentration of the fluorescent final product of the reaction is inversely proportional to the concentration of digoxin in the sample.

Preliminary experiments determined the linearity of the new Vitros DGXN digoxin immunoassay and compared the recovery of digoxin by the new method to a method known to be free of DLIF interference (5) (Roche Online, performed on a COBAS COBAS Comitati Di Base  FARA II analyzer). Linearity was determined by analysis of a serum pool (free of digoxin) to which digoxin in concentrations from 0 to 4 [micro]g/L was added. Samples from this pool were split for analysis, and the linearity of the two assays was compared. The Roche Online and Vitros DGXN methods were linear throughout the range of clinical interest, but both methods exhibited a positive bias that was greater for the Vitros DGXN method (y = 1.28x + 0.00 [micro]g/L) than the Roche method (y = 1.14x + 0.08 [micro]g/L).

Between-run precision of the Vitros DGXN method was assessed by repeat analysis of two concentrations of quality control media (Bio-Rad levels 1 and 3, TDM (Time Division Multiplexing) A technology that transmits multiple signals simultaneously over a single transmission path. Each lower-speed signal is time sliced into one high-speed transmission.  Control, Bio-Rad). Coefficients of variation (n = 22) were 13.6% at 0.72 [+ or -] 0.10 [micro]g/L and 3.5% at 2.88 [+ or -] 0.10 [micro]g/L, respectively. The comparable values for the quality control media using the Roche Online method were 14.8% at 0.81 [+ or -] 0.12 [micro]g/L and 4.7% at 3. (20) [+ or -] 0.15 [micro]g/L (n = 18 and 25, respectively). Addition of hemolysate to a serum containing 2.2 [micro]g/L digoxin produced no interference in the Vitros DGXN method at concentrations of added hemolysate that yielded up to 10 g/L added hemoglobin.

We compared three digoxin assays using serum from 26 adults receiving digoxin therapy. Samples were split into three aliquots and then assayed for digoxin by all three methods (Fig. 1). The correlation of Vitros DGXN with Roche Online or Abbott Digoxin II was close (r = 0.99 and 0.98, respectively), and least-squares linear regression Linear regression

A statistical technique for fitting a straight line to a set of data points.
 analysis computed close relationships of the Vitros method to the comparison methods [Vitros = 1.16(Abbott) - 0.1 [micro]g/L; S = 0.1 [micro]g/L; Vitros = 0.97(Roche) + 0.2 [micro]g/L, S = 0.1 [micro]g/L]. The mean digoxin concentrations measured on the 26 comparison samples were 1.30 [+ or -] 0.69 [micro]g/L (Roche Online), 1.34 [+ or -] 0.58 [micro]g/L (Abbott Digoxin II), and 1.46 [+ or -] 0.68 [micro]g/L (Vitros DGXN). These means were significantly different (Student's t-test, paired), with P = 0.0001 for Vitros DGXN vs Roche Online and P 0.009 for Vitros DGXN vs Abbott Digoxin II.

To investigate potential interference of DLIFs in the Vitros DGXN method, sera from 44 newborns (<30 days of age) not receiving digoxin therapy were split into three aliquots as above and measured by all three methods. Because directly quantifying the DLIF content of these specimens was not possible, we relied on the previously demonstrated high prevalence of DLIFs in neonatal specimens to provide a basis for comparison of DLIF interference in the three methods (3, 4). In 41 of 44 samples, the Vitros DGXN method gave measurements reported as <0.3 [micro]g/L digoxin (instrument automatically reports <0.3 [micro]g/L when a result below this threshold is obtained). The Roche Online method measured 0.0 [+ or -] 0.0 [micro]g/L, and the Abbott Digoxin 11 method measured 0.5 [+ or -] 0.1 [micro]g/L on the same specimens. In the remaining three specimens, the Vitros DGXN method reported digoxin at 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6 [micro]g/L; the Roche Online reported the samples as 0.0, 0.1, and 0.1 [micro]g/L; and the Abbott Digoxin II reported the samples as 0.3, 0.3, and 0.3 [micro]g/L, respectively.

The potential sensitivity of the DGXN assay to interference from DLIFs was further assessed by adding digoxin to serum samples from both newborns (which probably contain DLIFs) and adults not under digoxin therapy (at 0.40 [micro]g/L and 0.70 [micro]g/L, respectively). This approach allowed for evaluation of bidirectional The ability to move, transfer or transmit in both directions.  interference. The samples from newborns (n = 20) produced values of 0.41 [+ or -] 0.1 [micro]g/L digoxin when assayed with the Roche Online method and 0.7 [+ or -] 0.2 [micro]g/L when assayed with the Vitros DGXN digoxin method. The samples from adults (n = 6) produced values of 0.7 [+ or -] 0.0 [micro]g/L digoxin when assayed with the Roche Online method and 0.8 [+ or -] 0.1 [micro]g/L when assayed with the Vitros DGXN digoxin method.

The data taken as a whole suggest that the positive bias observed in the Vitros DGXN assay in comparison with the Roche Online assay of neonatal specimens is probably caused, in part, by the presence of DLIFs, which were to a slight degree detected as digoxin, and to a small analytical positive bias observed in comparisons of adult specimens and in recovery experiments. By subtracting the difference between the methods for adult specimens (0.13 [micro]g/L) from the difference for neonatal specimens (0.24 [micro]g/L), the net apparent digoxin in neonatal specimens (0.11 [micro]g/L) in the Vitros DGXN digoxin method is probably caused by co-measurement of DLIFs.


The Vitros DGXN digoxin immunoassay was sufficiently sensitive and precise for clinical applications and was not influenced by hemolysis hemolysis (hĭmŏl`ĭsĭs), destruction of red blood cells in the bloodstream. Although new red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are continuously created and old ones destroyed, an excessive rate of destruction sometimes occurs. . The Vitros method produced results with a small overall positive bias compared with the Roche Online method, which has been reported to be free of DLIF interference (5). In 3 of 44 neonatal samples, there was a difference in the measurement of digoxin that could be attributed to the positive bias of the Vitros DGXN method plus the detection of some DLIFs. The extent of the differences (average difference, 0.24 [micro]g/L; maximum difference, 0.5 [micro]g/L) may influence clinical decision-making. We found no evidence, however, of the systematic detection of large amounts of DLIFs by the Vitros DGXN method. We conclude that DLIFs interfere slightly with the Vitros DGXN method, and the resulting small positive bias may cause occasional discrepant dis·crep·ant  
Marked by discrepancy; disagreeing.

[Middle English discrepaunt, from Latin discrep


(1.) Jortani SA, Valdes R, Jr. Dioxin dioxin

Aromatic compound, any of a group of contaminants produced in making herbicides (e.g., Agent Orange), disinfectants, and other agents. Their basic chemical structure consists of two benzene rings connected by a pair of oxygen atoms; when substituents on the rings are
 and its related endogenous factors. Clin Rev Clin Lab Sci 1997;34:225-74.

(2.) Stone JA, Soldin SJ. An update on digoxin. Clin Chem 1989;35:1326-31.

(3.) Valdes R Jr. Endogenous digoxin-like immunoreactive factors: impact on digoxin measurements and potential physiological implications. Clin Chem 1985;31:1525-32.

(4.) Pudek MR, Secombe DW, Whitfield MF, Ling E. Digoxin-like immunoreactivity in premature and full-term infants not receiving digoxin therapy. N Engl J Med 1983;308:904-5.

(5.) Jiang F, Wilhite TR, Smith CH, Landt M. A new digoxin immunoassay substantially free of interference by digoxin immunoreactive factor. Ther Drug Monitor 1995;17:184-8.

(6.) Pudek MR, Secombe DW, Jacobson BE, Whitfield MF. Seven different digoxin immunoassay kits compared with respect to interference by a digoxin-like immunoreactive substance in serum from premature and full-term infants. Clin Chem 1983;29:1972-4.

(7.) Datta P, Xu L, Malik S, Landicho D, Ferreri L, Halverson K, et al. Effect of antibody specificity on results of selected digoxin immunoassays among various clinical groups. Clin Chem 1996;42:373-9.

Barbara A. Way, [1,2] Timothy R. Wilhite, [3] Ralph Miller, [3] Carl H. Smith, [1,2] and Michael Landt [1] *

Departments of [1] Pediatrics and

[2] Pathology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, and

[3] BJC Health System, St. Louis, MO 63110;

* author for correspondence: Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children's Hospital, One Children's Place, St. Louis, MO 63110; fax 314-454-2274, e-mail
COPYRIGHT 1998 American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Technical Briefs
Author:Way, Barbara A.; Wilhite, Timothy R.; Miller, Ralph; Smith, Carl H.; Landt, Michael
Publication:Clinical Chemistry
Date:Jun 1, 1998
Previous Article:Correlation of plasma concentrations of cystatin C and creatinine to inulin clearance in a pediatric population.
Next Article:Quantitative determination of short-chain organic acids in urine by capillary electrophoresis.

Related Articles
Interference of Asian, American, and Indian (Ashwagandha) ginsengs in serum digoxin measurements by a fluorescence polarization immunoassay can be...
Digibind and free digoxin.
Comparable effects of DIGIBIND and DigiFab in thirteen digoxin immunoassays.
Isolation and characterization of a digoxin-like immunoreactive substance from human urine by affinity chromatography.
Multicenter study of Abbott AxSYM[R] Digoxin II assay and comparison with 6 methods for susceptibility to digoxin-like immunoreactive factors.
Monitoring of unbound digoxin in patients treated with anti-digoxin antigen-binding fragments: a model for the future?
Serum digoxin in the presence of Digibind: determination of digoxin by the Abbott AxSYM and Baxter Stratus II immunoassays by direct analysis without...
Standards of laboratory practice: cardiac drug monitoring.
Comparability of a new turbidimetric digoxin test with other immunochemical tests and with HPLC--a multicenter evaluation.
Digoxin assays: frequent, substantial, and potentially dangerous interference by Spironolactone, canrenone, and other steroids.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters