Pre-analytical considerations in biomarker research: Focus on cardiovascular disease

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Clinical biomarker research is growing at a fast pace, particularly in the cardiovascular field, due to the demanding requirement to provide personalized precision medicine. The lack of a distinct molecular signature for each cardiovascular derangement results in a one-size-fits-all diagnostic and therapeutic approach, which may partially explain suboptimal outcomes in heterogeneous cardiovascular diseases (e.g., heart failure with preserved ejection fraction). A multidimensional approach using different biomarkers is quickly evolving, but it is necessary to consider pre-analytical variables, those to which a biological sample is subject before being analyzed, namely sample collection, handling, processing, and storage. Pre-analytical errors can induce systematic bias and imprecision, which may compromise research results, and are easy to avoid with an adequate study design. Academic clinicians and investigators must be aware of the basic considerations for biospecimen management and essential pre-analytical recommendations as lynchpin for biological material to provide efficient and valid data.

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