Measurement of cortisol in saliva: a comparison of measurement error within and between international academic-research laboratories Public Deposited

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  • Findlay, Helen
    • Other Affiliation: Centre for Studies on Human Stress, Montreal Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, QC H1N 3V2, Canada
  • Calvi, Jessica L
    • Other Affiliation: Salivary Bioscience Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA
  • Heim, Christine
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Medical Psychology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Department of Biobehavioral Health, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16802, USA
  • Hodges, Eric
    • Other Affiliation: Biobehavioral Laboratory
  • Walker, Claire-Dominique
    • Other Affiliation: The Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, QC H4H 1R3, Canada
  • Klawitter, Heiko
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Medical Psychology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
  • Lupien, Sonia
    • Other Affiliation: Centre for Studies on Human Stress, Montreal Mental Health University Institute, Montreal, QC H1N 3V2, Canada
  • Bristow, Matt
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
  • Entringer, Sonja
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Medical Psychology, Charité Universitätsmedizin, 10117 Berlin, Germany; Development, Health, and Disease Research Program, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92868, USA
  • Benson, Victoria B
    • Other Affiliation: Biobehavioral Laboratory
  • Verlezza, Silvanna
    • Other Affiliation: The Douglas Hospital Research Centre, McGill University, Montreal, QC H4H 1R3, Canada
  • De, Alpana
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge CB1 1PT, UK
  • Granger, Douglas A
    • Other Affiliation: Salivary Bioscience Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA; Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA; School of Nursing, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA; School of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA; Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697‑7085, USA
  • Rus, Holly M
    • Other Affiliation: Psychological Sciences, University of California, Merced, CA 95343, USA
  • Brindle, Eleanor
    • Other Affiliation: Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
  • Tiemensma, Jitske
    • Other Affiliation: Psychological Sciences, University of California, Merced, CA 95343, USA
  • Chen, Frances R
    • Other Affiliation: Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30302, USA
Abstract
  • Abstract Objective Hundreds of scientific publications are produced annually that involve the measurement of cortisol in saliva. Intra- and inter-laboratory variation in salivary cortisol results has the potential to contribute to cross-study inconsistencies in findings, and the perception that salivary cortisol results are unreliable. This study rigorously estimates sources of measurement variability in the assay of salivary cortisol within and between established international academic-based laboratories that specialize in saliva analyses. One hundred young adults (Mean age: 23.10 years; 62 females) donated 2 mL of whole saliva by passive drool. Each sample was split into multiple- 100 µL aliquots and immediately frozen. One aliquot of each of the 100 participants’ saliva was transported to academic laboratories (N = 9) in the United States, Canada, UK, and Germany and assayed for cortisol by the same commercially available immunoassay. Results 1.76% of the variance in salivary cortisol levels was attributable to differences between duplicate assays of the same sample within laboratories, 7.93% of the variance was associated with differences between laboratories, and 90.31% to differences between samples. In established-qualified laboratories, measurement error of salivary cortisol is minimal, and inter-laboratory differences in measurement are unlikely to have a major influence on the determined values.
Date of publication
Identifier
  • doi:10.1186/s13104-017-2805-4
Resource type
  • Article
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Rights holder
  • The Author(s)
Language
  • English
Bibliographic citation
  • BMC Research Notes. 2017 Sep 13;10(1):479
Publisher
  • BioMed Central
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