Multiple Inflammatory Biomarker Detection in a Prospective Cohort Study: A Cross-Validation between Well-Established Single-Biomarker Techniques and an Electrochemiluminescense-Based Multi-Array Platform
Background: In terms of time, effort and quality, multiplex technology is an attractive alternative for well-established single-biomarker measurements in clinical studies. However, limited data comparing these methods are available. Methods: We measured, in a large ongoing cohort study (n = 574), by means of both a 4-plex multi-array biomarker assay developed by MesoScaleDiscovery (MSD) and single-biomarker techniques (ELISA or immunoturbidimetric assay), the following biomarkers of low-grade inflammation: C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1) and soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (sVCAM-1). These measures were realigned by weighted Deming regression and compared across a wide spectrum of subjects' cardiovascular risk factors by ANOVA. Results: Despite that both methods ranked individuals' levels of biomarkers very similarly (Pearson's r all≥0.755) absolute concentrations of all biomarkers differed significantly between methods. Equations retrieved by the Deming regression enabled proper realignment of the data to overcome these differences, such that intra-class correlation coefficients were then 0.996 (CRP), 0.711 (SAA), 0.895 (sICAM-1) and 0.858 (sVCAM-1). Additionally, individual biomarkers differed across categories of glucose metabolism, weight, metabolic syndrome and smoking status to a similar extent by either method. Conclusions: Multiple low-grade inflammatory biomarker data obtained by the 4-plex multi-array platform of MSD or by well-established single-biomarker methods are comparable after proper realignment of differences in absolute concentrations, and are equally associated with cardiovascular risk factors, regardless of such differences. Given its greater efficiency, the MSD platform is a potential tool for the quantification of multiple biomarkers of low-grade inflammation in large ongoing and future clinical studies.