Ultrasensitive immunoassay allows measurement of serum neurofilament heavy in multiple sclerosis

Inge M.W. Verberk, Marleen Koel-Simmelink, Harry Twaalfhoven, Hugo Vrenken, Carsten Korth, Joep Killestein, Charlotte E. Teunissen, Claire Bridel

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Neurofilament heavy (NfH) is a promising biomarker for neuro-axonal damage in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We compared the performance of high-sensitivity serum-NfH immunoassays, with as aim to investigate the value of serum-NfH as biomarker for MS. Methods: We measured serum-NfH in 76 MS patients with Simoa (one commercial, one in-house) or Luminex assays. Serum-NfH measured by the immunoassay with greatest sensitivity was related to clinical and radiological outcomes with age and sex-adjusted linear regression analysis, and to biological outcomes cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-NfH, serum neurofilament light (NfL) and CSF-NfL with Spearman's correlation analysis. Results: With the commercial Simoa assay, we obtained 100% serum-NfH detectability (in-house Simoa: 70%, Luminex: 61%), with lowest coefficient of variation (CV) between duplicates of 11%CV (in-house Simoa: 22%CV, Luminex: 30%CV). Serum-NfH quantified with the commercial Simoa assay was associated with disease duration (standardized beta (sβ) = 0.28, p = 0.034), T2 lesion volume (sβ = 0.23, p = 0.041), and tended to associate with black hole count (sβ = 0.21, p = 0.084) but not with Expanded Disease Disability Score (EDSS) or normalized brain volume (all: p>0.10). Furthermore, serum-NfH showed correlations with CSF-NfH (rho = 0.27, p = 0.018) and serum-NfL (rho=0.44, p < 0.001), but not with CSF-NfL. Conclusions: Serum-NfH can be quantified with high-sensitivity technology. Cross-sectionally, we observed some weak correlations of serum-NfH with MS disease burden parameters, suggesting there might be some utility for serum-NfH as biomarker for MS disease burden.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102840
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Blood biomarker
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurofilament heavy
  • Neurofilament light
  • Simoa

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