Product News: Siemens Among First to Standardize Vitamin D Assay to Enhance Accuracy and Reliability

30 Sep 2013

Siemens Healthcare has announced that it is one of the first commercial manufacturers to re-standardize its Advia Centaur Vitamin D Total assay1 to align with a reference measurement procedure used in the Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) for vitamin D measurement. The standardized assay enhances accuracy and reliability in vitamin D testing and enables clinicians to generate reproducible and comparable results. With this step, the company demonstrates its competitiveness, one of the aims of the Healthcare Sector initiative Agenda 2013.

In recent years, vitamin D testing demand has increased significantly, due largely to growing evidence linking deficiency to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular, diabetes and autoimmune diseases. This, in turn, has led to more commercially available automated vitamin D assays. However, since there has not been a universal vitamin D standard, different vitamin D assays and testing methods produced varying results. This raised the need for standardization among manufacturers and their assays.

To address this need, in 2010 the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements (NIH ODS) introduced the VDSP, an initiative to standardize the la-boratory measurement of vitamin D status measurement worldwide. While the main focus of the VDSP is on standardizing measurements done in national health surveys, it also allows for participation of clinical, public health, research and commercial laboratories and commercial trade organizations in the standardization effort. Siemens is one of the first commercial manufacturers to voluntarily standardize to the reference measurement procedure of the VDSP.

“Standardization of vitamin D assays is critical to harmonizing test results and providing clinicians with greater confidence in the decisions they make regarding their patients’ care,” explains Dave Hickey, CEO of the Chemistry, Immunoassay, Automation and Diagnostics IT Business Unit of the Diagnostics Division of Siemens Healthcare. “Siemens chose to align its Vitamin D Total assay to the VDSP reference measurement to enhance the delivery of consistent and clinically accurate patient results to our customers.”

Additionally, the re-standardized Advia Centaur Vitamin D Total assay is now available with pediatric observed values (for ages 12 months to 21 years old). Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency in children is widespread, and can lead to such issues as skeletal deformities, brittle bones, frequent fractures and even premature osteoporosis later in life.

Launched in November 2011, “Agenda 2013” is an initiative of the Siemens Healthcare Sector to further strengthen its innovative power and competitiveness. Specific measures, which will be implemented by the end of 2013, have been defined in four fields of action: innovation, competitiveness, regional footprint, and people development.