Searching for a BNP standard: Glycosylated proBNP as a common calibrator enables improved comparability of commercial BNP immunoassays

Alexander G. Semenov, Natalia N. Tamm, Fred S. Apple, Karen M. Schulz, Sara A. Love, Ranka Ler, Evgeniya E. Feygina, Alexey G. Katrukha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background Circulating B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is widely accepted as a diagnostic and risk assessment biomarker of cardiac function. Studies suggest that there are significant differences in measured concentrations among different commercial BNP immunoassays. The purpose of our study was to compare BNP-related proteins to determine a form that could be used as a common calibrator to improve the comparability of commercial BNP immunoassay results. Methods BNP was measured in 40 EDTA-plasma samples from acute and chronic heart failure patients using five commercial BNP assays: Alere Triage, Siemens Centaur XP, Abbott I-STAT, Beckman Access2 and ET Healthcare Pylon. In parallel with internal calibrators from each manufacturer, six preparations containing BNP 1–32 motif a) synthetic BNP, b) recombinant BNP (E. coli), c) recombinant nonglycosylated proBNP (E. coli), d) recombinant His-tagged (N-terminal) nonglycosylated proBNP (E. coli), e) recombinant glycosylated proBNP (HEK cells), and f) recombinant glycosylated proBNP (CHO cells) were also used as external calibrators for each assay. Results Using the internal standards provided by manufacturers and for five of six external calibrators, up to 3.6-fold differences (mean 1.9-fold) were observed between BNP immunoassays (mean between-assay CV 24.5–47.2%). A marked reduction of the between-assay variability was achieved, when glycosylated proBNP expressed in HEK cells was used as the common calibrator for all assays (mean between-assay CV 14.8%). Conclusions Our data suggest that recombinant glycosylated proBNP could serve as a common calibrator for BNP immunoassays to reduce between-assay variability and achieve better comparability of BNP concentrations of commercial BNP immunoassays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-185
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • BNP
  • Glycosylation
  • Heart failure
  • Immunoassay
  • proBNP
  • Standardization


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