Comparison of proteomic methods in evaluating biomarker-AKI associations in cardiac surgery patients

Richard X. Liu, Heather R. Thiessen-Philbrook, Ramachandran S. Vasan, Josef Coresh, Peter Ganz, Joseph V. Bonventre, Paul L. Kimmel, Chirag R. Parikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although immunoassays are the most widely used protein measurement method, aptamer-based methods such as the SomaScan platform can quantify up to 7000 proteins per biosample, creating new opportunities for unbiased discovery. However, there is limited research comparing the consistency of biomarker-disease associations between immunoassay and aptamer-based platforms. In a substudy of the TRIBE-AKI cohort, preoperative and postoperative plasma samples from 294 patients with previous immunoassay measurements were analyzed using the SomaScan platform. Inter-platform Spearman correlations (rs) and biomarker-AKI associations were compared across 30 preoperative and 34 postoperative immunoassay-aptamer pairs. Possible factors contributing to inter-platform differences were examined including target protein characteristics, immunoassay, and SomaScan coefficients of variation, other assay characteristics, and sample storage time. The median rs was 0.54 (interquartile range [IQR] 0.34-0.83) in postoperative samples and 0.41 (IQR 0.21-0.69) in preoperative samples. We observed a trend of greater rs in biomarkers with greater concentrations; the Spearman correlation between the concentration of protein and the inter-platform correlation was 0.64 in preoperative pairs and 0.53 in postoperative pairs. Of proteins measured by immunoassays, we observed significant biomarker-AKI associations for 13 proteins preop and 24 postop; of all corresponding aptamers, 8 proteins preop and 12 postop. All proteins significantly associated with AKI as measured by SomaScan were also significantly associated with AKI as measured by immunoassay. All biomarker-AKI odds ratios were significantly different (P < 0.05) between platforms in 14% of aptamer-immunoassay pairs, none of which had high (rs > 0.50) inter-platform correlations. Although similar biomarker-disease associations were observed overall, biomarkers with high physiological concentrations tended to have the highest-confidence inter-platform operability in correlations and biomarker-disease associations. Aptamer assays provide excellent precision and an unprecedented coverage and promise for disease associations but interpretation of results should keep in mind a broad range of correlations with immunoassays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-62
Number of pages14
JournalTranslational Research
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biochemistry, medical


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