Measurement of leptin in dried blood spot samples



Leptin is important in a wide range of physiological processes, but logistical constraints associated with venipuncture blood collection have limited research on leptin in diverse, community-based settings. The aim of this short report is to present and validate an enzyme immunoassay method for quantifying leptin in samples of capillary whole blood collected from a simple finger prick and dried on filter paper. The method was evaluated through analysis of precision, reliability, stability, and comparisons with matched plasma and blood spot samples. We report acceptable levels of assay precision and reliability, and good agreement between results obtained from matched plasma and blood spot samples (r = 0.976, P < 0.001). Leptin concentrations begin to deteriorate after only 3 days at room temperature. Thus, care should be taken to refrigerate or freeze samples promptly. The relative ease of blood spot sample collection may facilitate research on leptin in a wider range of cultural and ecological settings. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 18:857–860, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.