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Changes in transferrin glycosylation during pregnancy may lead to false-positive carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) results in testing for riskful alcohol consumption
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Chemistry. (biologisk struktur och funktion)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Obstetrisk forskning/Axelsson)
2011 (English)In: Clinica Chimica Acta, ISSN 0009-8981, E-ISSN 1873-3492, Vol. 412, no 1-2, 129-133 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: An alcohol-induced change in serum transferrin glycosylation, termed carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT), is widely used as a biomarker of heavy long-term drinking. This study examined the transferrin glycosylation profile and the risk for false-positive CDT results during pregnancy. METHODS: Serum samples were collected from 24 healthy pregnant women starting in gestation week 9-21, throughout pregnancy, and 8 or more weeks after delivery. Altogether 171 sera (5-9 samples/person) were analysed. Transferrin glycoforms were quantified as a percentage of total transferrin, using an HPLC candidate reference method for CDT. RESULTS: During pregnancy, the relative disialo-, pentasialo- and hexasialotransferrin levels increased gradually, whereas trisialo- and tetrasialotransferrin were reduced. This effect was most pronounced in the third trimester. For disialotransferrin, the main target in CDT testing, initial values of 1.07±0.17% (mean±SD) increased to 1.61±0.23% before delivery (~50% increase). Nine (38%) pregnant women reached %disialotransferrin values ≥1.7% (97.5th percentile for controls) but all results were <2.0%. In the postpartum samples, all glycoform levels had returned towards the starting values. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the cutoff for %disialotransferrin and %CDT employed to indicate heavy long-term drinking need to be raised slightly in pregnant women, to minimize the risk for false-positive results on CDT testing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 412, no 1-2, 129-133 p.
Keyword [en]
Alcohol biomarker, Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, High-performance liquid chromatography, Pregnancy, Transferrin glycosylation
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132553DOI: 10.1016/j.cca.2010.09.022ISI: 000285655700021PubMedID: 20869959OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132553DiVA: diva2:358281
Available from: 2010-10-21 Created: 2010-10-21 Last updated: 2011-04-04Bibliographically approved

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Axelsson, Ove
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Clinical ChemistryDepartment of Women's and Children's Health
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