Global FT4 immunoassay standardization: An expert opinion review

Juergen Kratzsch, Nikola A. Baumann, Ferruccio Ceriotti, Zhong X. Lu, Matthias Schott, Antonius E.Van Herwaarden, José Gilberto Henriques Vieira, Dusanka Kasapic, Luca Giovanella

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objectives: Results can vary between different free thyroxine (FT4) assays; global standardization would improve comparability of results between laboratories, allowing development of common clinical decision limits in evidence-based guidelines. Content: We summarize the path to standardization of FT4 assays, and challenges associated with FT4 testing in special populations, including the need for collaborative efforts toward establishing population-specific reference intervals. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine Committee for Standardization of Thyroid Function Tests has undertaken FT4 immunoassay method comparison and recalibration studies and developed a reference measurement procedure that is currently being validated. Further studies are needed to establish common reference intervals/clinical decision limits. Standardization of FT4 assays will change test results substantially; therefore, amajor education programwill be required to ensure stakeholders are aware of the benefits of FT4 standardization, planned transition procedure, and potential clinical impact of the changes. Assay recalibration by manufacturers and approval process simplification by regulatory authorities will help minimize the clinical impact of standardization. Summary: Significant progress has been made toward standardization of FT4 testing, but technical and logistical challenges remain. Outlook: Collaborative efforts by manufacturers, laboratories, and clinicians are required to achieve successful global standardization of the FT4 assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1023
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2021


  • Free thyroxine
  • Immunoassay
  • Reference value
  • Standardization
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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