February 16, 2024

Topic spotlight: biotin interference

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center diagnostic laboratories are opening a new facility at MetroCenter on March 1. The new facility, with 110,000 square feet, more than doubles the lab’s current footprint.

The lab transformation will mean a change in the chemistry testing platforms that are used to process specimens. One impact of the new chemistry platforms is that high levels of biotin in patients can interfere with some tests.

What is the impact of biotin supplements / therapy and lab test results?

  • High levels of circulating biotin can interfere with some immunoassays that will be implemented after the lab move
  • Biotin levels in normal dietary intake or most supplements will not impact test results
  • High level biotin consumption (>5 mg per day) may interfere with the assays

Which biotin treatments do I need to worry about?

  • High-dose biotin such as prescribed for multiple sclerosis (300 mg/day), biotinidase deficiency (5-10 mg/day), or holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency (30-40 mg/day) will interfere with these immunoassays
  • Patients who are taking supplements for hair and nail strength may also be impacted if >5 mg/day is consumed

 What tests will be impacted?

Will there be information on the test results?

Yes, a warning on biotin interference will be included in each affected test regarding potential biotin interference.

What do I do if I suspect a patient’s biotin is interfering with their lab results?

Repeat the test by collecting a sample a least eight (8) hours after their last dose of biotin.

The lab transformation will meet the growing need for lab services, positively impact countless Vanderbilt patients who depend on rapid in-house testing, help to improve the clinician experience, and lay the groundwork for the future growth of the health system.

Additional details regarding the project can be found on the project’s website at vumc.org/lab-transformation.