Considerable lack of agreement between S-FPIA and EMIT cyclosporine assay in therapeutic drug monitoring of heart transplant recipients

Mario B. Regazzi, Mariadelfina Molinaro, Carmine Tinelli, Gianmaria Melzi D'Eril, Claudio Goggi, Carlo Campana, Vincenzo Fiorito, Remigio Moratti, Mario Viganò

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The authors performed a comparative analysis of 60 whole blood samples containing cyclosporine (CsA) from heart transplant (HTx) recipients (n = 60) by the two 'specific' monoclonal immunoassays, enzyme-multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) and fluorescence polarization immunoassay (S-FPIA), using the Altman-Bland approach based on graphical techniques and simple calculations. The CsA blood concentrations measured by S-FPIA [mean (SD): 268.1 (108.8) ng/mL] showed a statistically significant difference (P <0.001) from the corresponding concentrations measured by EMIT [219.6 (118.7) ng/mL]. The CsA concentrations were 27% (median) higher when determined by monoclonal S-FPIA than by EMIT. The comparison between EMIT and S-FPIA showed a good correlation (S-FPIA conc.(ng/mL) = EMIT conc.(ng/mL) · 0.88 + 76.1, r = 0.96, P <0.001). However, a high correlation does not mean that the two methods agree, and their use as interchangeable might be misleading. The authors summarized the degree of agreement by calculating the bias estimated by the mean difference (d) and the standard deviation of the difference (SD). For CsA concentration data, the mean difference (S-FPIA minus EMIT) is +49.9 ng/mL and SD is 31.2 ng/mL. Altman-Bland analysis indicates considerable lack of agreement between EMIT and S-FPIA, with discrepancies of more than 100 ng/mL. The present study's data clearly show that there is a considerable and clinically unacceptable lack of agreement between the S-FPIA and the EMIT techniques in HTx recipients for the whole range of concentrations evaluated (25-500 ng/mL), and this is caused by the variation in the overestimation of the CsA parent compound. Even though a similar CsA reference range was reported during maintenance therapy for both methods (150-250 ng/mL), which might encourage their interchangeability in the clinical setting, this approach should be avoided. Laboratory reports should always state both the concentration of CsA and the analytical method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-715
Number of pages4
JournalTherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cyclosporine
  • Heart transplantation
  • Monoclonal specific immunoassay
  • Therapeutic drug monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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