Development of a new standard reference material: SRM 1955 (homocysteine and folate in human serum)

  • Mary B. Satterfield
  • Lorna T. Sniegoski
  • Katherine E. Sharpless
  • Michael J. Welch
  • Adriana Hornikova
  • Nien-Fan Zhang
  • Christine M. Pfeiffer
  • Zia Fazili
  • Mindy Zhang
  • Bryant C. NelsonEmail author
Original Paper


Total homocysteine (tHCY) and folate are interrelated biomarkers for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Although many different methods for both tHCY and folate are clinically available, the intermethod and interlaboratory results are often poor, resulting in the need for a matrix reference material and reference methods. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed isotope dilution liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) and liquid chromatography/ tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) methods for determination of tHCY and several folate forms including 5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5MT) and folic acid (FA). Additionally, a method for simultaneous measurement of tHCY, 5MT, and FA has been developed and validated. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mass spectrometric methods and methods used in clinical laboratories have been applied to characterize a new Standard Reference Material (SRM), SRM 1955, “Homocysteine and Folate in Human Serum,” containing low, medium, and high levels of tHCY and 5MT. Additionally, FA, 5-formyltetrahydrofolic acid (5FT), vitamin B12, and total folate values are provided. Use of the new SRM should improve clinical measurements and will permit traceability to internationally recognized certified reference materials, as described by European Directive 98/79/EC on in vitro diagnostic medical devices.


Isotope dilution mass spectrometry Standard reference material Homocysteine Folate 5-Methyltetrahydrofolic acid 5-Formyltetrahydrofolic acid Folic acid 



Sonya Strider (FPIA) and Lily Jia (BioRad).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary B. Satterfield
    • 1
  • Lorna T. Sniegoski
    • 1
  • Katherine E. Sharpless
    • 1
  • Michael J. Welch
    • 1
  • Adriana Hornikova
    • 2
  • Nien-Fan Zhang
    • 2
  • Christine M. Pfeiffer
    • 3
  • Zia Fazili
    • 3
  • Mindy Zhang
    • 3
  • Bryant C. Nelson
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Analytical Chemistry DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Statistical Engineering DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  3. 3.Division of Laboratory SciencesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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