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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-30507

Bornø, A; Aachmann-Andersen, N J; Munch-Andersen, T; Hulston, C J; Lundby, C (2010). Screening for recombinant human erythropoietin using [Hb], reticulocytes, the OFF(hr score), OFF(z score) and Hb(z score): status of the Blood Passport. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(3):537-543.

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Haemoglobin concentration ([Hb]), reticulocyte percentage (retic%) and OFF(hr score) are well-implemented screening tools to determine potential recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEpo) abuse in athletes. Recently, the International Cycling Union implemented the OFF( z score) and the Hb( z score) in their anti-doping testing programme. The aim of this study is to evaluate the sensitivity of these indirect screening methods. Twenty-four human subjects divided into three groups with eight subjects each (G1; G2 and G3) were injected with rHuEpo. G1 and G2 received rHuEpo for a 4-week period with 2 weeks of "boosting" followed by 2 weeks of "maintenance" and a wash-out period of 3 weeks. G3 received rHuEpo for a 10-week period (boost = 3 weeks; maintenance = 7 weeks; wash out = 1 week). Three, seven and eight of the 24 volunteers exceeded the cut-off limits for OFF(hr score), [Hb] and retic%, respectively. One subject from G1, nobody from G2, and seven subjects from G3 exceeded the cut-off limit for Hb( z score.) In total, ten subjects exceeded the cut-off limit for the OFF( z score); two subjects from G1, two subjects from G2 and six subjects from G3. In total, indirect screening methods were able to indicate rHuEpo injections in 58% of subjects. However, 42% of our rHuEpo-injected subjects were not detected. It should be emphasised that the test frequency in real world anti-doping is far less than the present study, and hence the detection rate will be lower.


18 citations in Web of Science®
20 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:15 Mar 2010 10:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:54
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00421-010-1370-5
PubMed ID:20127125

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