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    The measurement of plasma concentrations of retinol binding protein is a component of nutritional assessment in neonatal intensive care. However, serial testing in newborns is hampered by the limited amount of blood that can be sampled. Limitations are most severe with preterm infants, for whom close monitoring may be most important. We developed an assay to quantify retinol binding protein using trypsin digestion and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, which requires a serum or plasma volume of 5 µl. Additionally, we validated the method according to current recommendations and performed comparison with a standard nephelometry platform in clinical use. The assay demonstrated linearity from below 1 mg/dL (0.48 µM) to more than 20 mg/dL (9.7 µM), and an imprecision of 11.8% at 0.43 mg/dL (0.21 µM). The distribution of results observed with the new method was different when compared with nephelometry. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry facilitated testing a smaller sample volume, thereby increasing the ability to monitor key nutritional markers in premature infants. The differences in results compared with a commercially-available nephelometric assay revealed questionable results for lower concentrations by immunoassay. Copyright © 2021 The Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    William S Phipps, Dina N Greene, Hannah Pflaum, Thomas J Laha, Jane A Dickerson, Jill Irvine, Anna E Merrill, Pratistha Ranjitkar, Clark M Henderson, Andrew N Hoofnagle. Small volume retinol binding protein measurement by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Clinical biochemistry. 2022 Jan;99:111-117

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    PMID: 34678307

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