The influence of cold storage on the stability of the biomarker, HbA1c

Lykke Bebbie Nielsen, Josefine Tange Møller, Signe Vedel Borchert & Mads Teglhus Henriksen

Studenteropgave: Bachelorprojekt


Population-based biobanks have become of great interest within treatment, prevention, and causes of diseases, and is a repository where researchers can obtain data. Through retrospective studies, when studying biomarkers in stored biological samples, biobanks have shown to be effective. The aim of this project is to investigate the influence of cold storage on the stability of the biomarker glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) when stored in blood samples, regarding application in retrospective studies in relation to type 2 diabetes mellitus. Biomarkers degrade with time due to chemical processes as proteolysis, hence optimal storage is important for the most accurate retrospective studies. This literature study is performed in cooperation with the Danish Blood Donor Study that is currently investigating stability of various biomarkers stored at – 20 °C. To evaluate the stability of HbA1c in stored blood samples, six scientific articles are analysed, where blood samples are stored short-term (≤ 1.5 year) and long-term (> 1.5 year) at different temperatures, – 20 °C, – 70 °C, and – 80 °C. Temperature, storage time, and freeze-thaw cycles are storage conditions impacting the stability of HbA1c. Furthermore, replacement of measuring instruments and employees can influence the data. To interpret HbA1c data correctly, protocols must be standardised to obtain the best results from the samples and avoid sources of errors. As a conclusion, the analysed articles found HbA1c to be stable for up to two weeks when stored at – 20 °C, whereas at ≤ – 70 °C, HbA1c concentrations were stable for up to 18 years. The optimal temperature depends on storage time, where freeze-thaw cycles must be avoided to preserve HbA1c stability. Correct interpretation of HbA1c values is of importance for retrospective studies of HbA1c in relation to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

UddannelserBasis - Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Bachelor
Antal sider45
VejledereThorsten Brodersen


  • HbA1c
  • Biomarkør
  • Biobank
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • DBDS
  • Glykering
  • Opbevaring
  • Temperatur