Interlaboratory Assessment of Dried Blood Spot Fatty Acid Compositions

Adam H. Metherel, William S. Harris, Liu Ge, Robert A. Gibson, Raphaël Chouinard-Watkins, Richard P. Bazinet, Lei Liu, J. Thomas Brenna, Juan J. Aristizabal-Henao, Ken D. Stark, Robert C. Block

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Dried blood spots for fatty acid profiling are increasing in popularity; however, variability in results between laboratories has not been characterized. Whole blood from two subjects (low and high n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid [PUFA] status) was collected, 25 μL applied to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)-treated chromatography strips, dried in air, and shipped to five laboratories. Results were reported as “routine” (typical fatty acids for each laboratory) or “standardized” (a set of 19 fatty acids), and outliers and variability (%CV) were determined. Five and eight outliers of a possible 91 measures each were identified by routine and standardized reporting, respectively, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) in the low n-3 PUFA sample and arachidonic acid in the high n-3 PUFA sample. By standardized reporting, no outliers were identified for EPA or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), and %CV decreased from 8.6% to 6.0% and 9.1% to 6.6% for EPA and 10.5% to 7.2% and 10.5% to 6.6% for DHA in the low and high n-3 PUFA sample, respectively. In conclusion, fatty acid profiles yielded few outliers, and standardization of reporting reduced the variability between laboratories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-761
Number of pages7
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Dried blood spots
  • Fatty acids
  • Interlaboratory
  • Outliers
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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