Parathyroid hormone reference intervals in adults using second- and third-generation assays

Stine Linding Andersen*, Jesper Scott Karmisholt, Peter Vestergaard, Lise Husted, Stine Krogh Venø, Peter Astrup Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is a routine biochemical analysis, and it varies whether a second- or third-generation assay is used. Information on the levels obtained with different assays and evidence to substantiate local assay-specific reference ranges are important to inform clinical practice. Prior to a shift from the second- to the third-generation PTH assay (Cobas 8000, Roche Diagnostics) in the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, a total of 59 EDTA-plasma samples were collected for method comparison (Passing–Bablok). Furthermore, 120 EDTA-plasma samples were randomly obtained from adult blood donors and used for the establishment of reference intervals using the third-generation PTH assay (Cobas 8000, Roche Diagnostics) and two second-generation assays (Atellica, Siemens Healthineers; Alinity, Abbott Laboratories). Method comparison (Cobas 8000, Roche Diagnostics) showed lower levels with the third-generation (y) as compared to the second-generation assay (x) depending on the measurement range (PTH < 10 pmol/L: y = 0.8 (95% CI: 0.7; 0.9) x + 0.3 (95% CI: 0.2; 0.5), PTH ≥ 10 pmol/L: y = 0.6 (95% CI: 0.5; 0.6) x + 3.2 (95% CI: 1.1; 5.2)). Method-specific reference intervals (2.5 and 97.5 percentiles) after the exclusion of samples (n = 31) with 25-hydroxy-vitamin D below 50 nmol/L were: 1.8–8.5 pmol/L (second-generation, Atellica, Siemens Healthineers); 2.4–10.9 pmol/L (second-generation, Alinity, Abbott Laboratories), and 1.8–7.0 pmol/L (third-generation, Cobas 8000, Roche Diagnostics). PTH levels with second- and third-generation assays are not interchangeable. Clinicians should be informed when a laboratory assay is changed, and method-specific reference ranges are needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • PTH
  • hyperparathyroidism
  • hypoparathyroidism
  • immunoassay
  • vitamin D


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