Serum and plasma 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid as an alternative to 24-h urine 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid measurement

J E Adaway, R Dobson, J Walsh, D J Cuthbertson, P J Monaghan, P J Trainer, J W Valle, B G Keevil

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    BACKGROUND: Neuroendocrine tumours are slow growing tumours known to secrete a variety of vasoactive peptides which give rise to symptoms of the carcinoid syndrome. The diagnosis and monitoring of patients with neuroendocrine tumours is undertaken in many centres using 24 h urinary measurement of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid. However, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid can also be quantified in plasma and serum. METHODS: We measured 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentration in 134 paired EDTA plasma and urine samples from 108 patients with known neuroendocrine tumours and 26 healthy volunteers. We also compared 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentrations in paired serum and plasma samples (n = 63), then analysed paired urine and serum samples (n = 97). Furthermore, we examined the impact of renal impairment on serum 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid by analysing 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in patients without neuroendocrine tumours in different stages of chronic kidney disease, as indicated by the estimated glomerular filtration rate. RESULTS: Plasma and urine 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid had very similar diagnostic sensitivities and specificities, with areas under the curve on ROC analysis of 0.917 and 0.920, respectively. Serum and plasma 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid values showed good correlation but serum results demonstrated a positive bias, indicating the necessity for different serum and plasma reference intervals. There was an inverse correlation between estimated glomerular filtration rate and serum 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid concentration, with 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid increasing once the estimated glomerular filtration rate falls below 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. CONCLUSION: The measurement of both serum and plasma 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid can be used for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with neuroendocrine tumours. Provided renal function is taken into consideration, either of these tests should be incorporated into standard practice as an alternative assay to urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAnn Clin Biochem
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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