Recommendations on the measurement and the clinical use of vitamin D metabolites and vitamin D binding protein – A position paper from the IFCC Committee on bone metabolism

Konstantinos Makris*, Harjit P. Bhattoa, Etienne Cavalier, Karen Phinney, Christopher T. Sempos, Candice Z. Ulmer, Samuel D. Vasikaran, Hubert Vesper, Annemieke C. Heijboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Vitamin D, an important hormone with a central role in calcium and phosphate homeostasis, is required for bone and muscle development as well as preservation of musculoskeletal function. The most abundant vitamin D metabolite is 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], which is currently considered the best marker to evaluate overall vitamin D status. 25(OH)D is therefore the most commonly measured metabolite in clinical practice. However, several other metabolites, although not broadly measured, are useful in certain clinical situations. Vitamin D and all its metabolites are circulating in blood bound to vitamin D binding protein, (VDBP). This highly polymorphic protein is not only the major transport protein which, along with albumin, binds over 99% of the circulating vitamin D metabolites, but also participates in the transport of the 25(OH)D into the cell via a megalin/cubilin complex. The accurate measurement of 25(OH)D has proved a difficult task. Although a reference method and standardization program are available for 25(OH)D, the other vitamin D metabolites still lack this. Interpretation of results, creation of clinical supplementation, and generation of therapeutic guidelines require not only accurate measurements of vitamin D metabolites, but also the accurate measurements of several other “molecules” related with bone metabolism. IFCC understood this priority and a committee has been established with the task to support and continue the standardization processes of vitamin D metabolites along with other bone-related biomarkers. In this review, we present the position of this IFCC Committee on Bone Metabolism on the latest developments concerning the measurement and standardization of vitamin D metabolites and its binding protein, as well as clinical indications for their measurement and interpretation of the results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-197
Number of pages27
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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