How accurate is your sclerostin measurement? Comparison between three commercially available sclerostin ELISA kits

Isabelle Piec (Lead Author), Christopher Washbourne, Jonathan Tang, Emily Fisher, Julie Greeves, Sarah Jackson, William D. Fraser

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Sclerostin, bone formation antagonist is in the spotlight as a potential biomarker for diseases presenting with associated bone disorders such as chronic kidney disease (CDK-MBD). Accurate measurement of sclerostin is therefore important. Several immunoassays are available to measure sclerostin in serum and plasma. We compared the performance of three commercial ELISA kits. We measured sclerostin concentrations in serum and EDTA plasma obtained from healthy young (18-26 years) human subjects using kits from Biomedica, TECOmedical and from R&D Systems. The circulating sclerostin concentrations were systematically higher when measured with the Biomedica assay (serum: 35.5 ± 1.1 pmol/L; EDTA: 39.4 ± 2.0 pmol/L; mean ± SD) as compared with TECOmedical (serum: 21.8 ± 0.7 pmol/L; EDTA: 27.2 ± 1.3 pmol/L) and R&D Systems (serum: 7.6 ± 0.3 pmol/L; EDTA: 30.9 ± 1.5 pmol/L). We found a good correlation between the assay for EDTA plasma (r > 0.6; p < 0.001) while in serum, only measurements obtained using TECOmedical and R&D Systems assays correlated significantly (r = 0.78; p < 0.001). There was no correlation between matrices results when using the Biomedica kit (r = 0.20). The variability in values generated from Biomedica, R&D Systems and TECOmedical assays raises questions regarding the accuracy and specificity of the assays. Direct comparison of studies using different kits is not possible and great care should be given to measurement of sclerostin, with traceability of reagents. Standardization with appropriate material is required before different sclerostin assays can be introduced in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-555
Number of pages12
JournalCalcified Tissue International
Issue number6
Early online date9 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Sclerostin
  • Clinical utility

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