Insulin-like growth factor-I in cats: validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and determination of biological variation

Emma M. Strage, Elvar Theodorsson, Bodil Ström Holst, Inger Lilliehöök, Moira Lewitt

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8 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundInsulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) measurements are used in veterinary medicine for diagnosing growth hormone disorders. IGF-I assays are subject to interference by IGF-binding proteins (IGFBP) which may not be efficiently removed by standard extraction methods. Adding excess IGF-II during analysis may improve accuracy.
ObjectivesThe purpose of the study was to validate a commercial human IGF-I ELISA which uses excess IGF-II for feline samples and to evaluate biologic variation.
MethodsPrecision was determined by calculating the coefficient of variation (CV). Accuracy was determined by recovery after removal of IGFBP, addition of IGF-I, and linear dilution after the addition of IGFBP. Biologic variation was determined by repeated sampling in 7 cats.
ResultsThere was interference by IGFBP in the high measuring range, resulting in falsely low IGF-I concentrations. This was overcome by the addition of high concentrations of IGF-II. Untreated serum had a measured/expected ratio of 98–115% compared to serum where IGFBP had been removed. Recovery after the addition of IGF-I was 83–112%. Inter- and intra-assay CVs ranged from 2.4% to 5.0% which is within the minimum acceptance criteria based on biologic variation. The reference interval of IGF-I was wide (90–1207 ng/mL) and there was a significant association between body weight and ln IGF-I (P < .000001).
ConclusionsThis human ELISA is suitable for feline samples, but interfering IGFBP can cause falsely low concentrations. It is recommended to dilute samples such that IGF-I is < 28 ng/mL on the standard curve to grant for sufficient IGF-II for binding of interferent IGFBP.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Clinical Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • growth hormone disorders
  • insulin-like growth factor-binding proteins
  • size-exclusion chromatography


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