Volumetric absorptive microsampling and dried blood spot microsampling vs. conventional venous sampling for tacrolimus trough concentration monitoring

Herman Veenhof, Remco A Koster, Lenneke A T Junier, Stefan P Berger, Stephan J L Bakker, Daan J Touw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Monitoring tacrolimus blood concentrations is important for preventing allograft rejection in transplant patients. Our hospital offers dried blood spot (DBS) sampling, giving patients the opportunity to sample a drop of blood from a fingerprick at home, which can be sent to the laboratory by mail. In this study, both a volumetric absorptive microsampling (VAMS) device and DBS sampling were compared to venous whole blood (WB) sampling. Methods: A total of 130 matched fingerprick VAMS, fingerprick DBS and venous WB samples were obtained from 107 different kidney transplant patients by trained phlebotomists for method comparison using Passing-Bablok regression. Bias was assessed using Bland-Altman. A multidisciplinary team pre-defined an acceptance limit requiring ï80% of all matched samples within 15% of the mean of both samples. Sampling quality was evaluated for both VAMS and DBS samples. Results: 32.3% of the VAMS samples and 6.2% of the DBS samples were of insufficient quality, leading to 88 matched samples fit for analysis. Passing-Bablok regression showed a significant difference between VAMS and WB, with a slope of 0.88 (95% CI 0.81-0.97) but not for DBS (slope 1.00; 95% CI 0.95-1.04). Both VAMS (after correction for the slope) and DBS showed no significant bias in Bland-Altman analysis. For VAMS and DBS, the acceptance limit was met for 83.0% and 96.6% of the samples, respectively. Conclusions: VAMS sampling can replace WB sampling for tacrolimus trough concentration monitoring, but VAMS sampling is currently inferior to DBS sampling, both regarding sample quality and agreement with WB tacrolimus concentrations. c 2020 Daan J. Touw et al., published by De Gruyter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1687-1695
Number of pages9
JournalClinical chemistry and laboratory medicine
Issue number10
Early online date15-May-2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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