Commercial tests to evaluate cholesterol levels were not as accurate as results from well-established techniques, a recent research has revealed.
The National Cholesterol Education Program maintains guidelines to assess the accuracy of methods for measuring cholesterol levels in patients.
In 2008, there were different commercial homogeneous direct measurement methods for HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol determination that were distributed worldwide under various trade names.
Despite their advantages, it is doubted if direct lipoprotein cholesterol methods generate equivalent values as older more skill-demanding methods and to the established reference measurement procedures for HDL-C and LDL-C used as the basis for clinical guidelines.
W. Greg Miller of Virginia Commonwealth University and his team evaluated seven commercially available direct measurement reagents for quantifying HDL-C and LDL-C. The team examined 175 patients in all-37 with no known disease and 138 with known cardiovascular disease and other conditions such as dyslipidemia-and compared the results to those obtained by reference measurement procedures.
They evaluated trueness, accuracy for individual samples, imprecision, and specificity for HDL and LDL lipoproteins, thus providing a comprehensive assessment of the analytical performance of the current direct lipoprotein methods.
"In the non-diseased individuals, six of eight HDL-C and five of eight LDL-C direct methods met the National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines," research team member Elizabeth T. Leary, Chief Scientific Officer at Pacific Biomarkers, Inc said.
"However, all the methods failed to meet the NCEP's goals for diseased individuals, because of compromised specificity toward abnormal proteins," she added.
The study was published in the journal Clinical Chemistry.