Targeted Metabolomics Services

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c)

Updated 21/12/2022

What is measured?

Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is measured in whole blood and not simultaneously with the other serum/plasma biomarkers on platform G.
Method(s): MALDI-TOF MS (1).

What is HbA1c?

It is formed by non-enzymatically attachment of glucose to different amino groups of both 2 alpha and 2 beta chains of normal adult hemoglobin A (HbA). The relative amount of glucose bond to the N-terminal of the beta chain is measured as HbA1c. HbA1c is used to monitor long-term glycaemic control and treatment of diabetes.

Performance of the assay

No interferences from bilirubin, triglyceride, labile A 1c, and carbamylated hemoglobin (1).


Assessment of long-term glycemic control in diabetics.

Specimen, collection and processing

Matrix: Whole blood.
Volume: Minimum volume is 20 µL, but 100 µL is optimal and allows reanalysis.
Preparation and stability: The blood sample must be put on ice, and frozen. HbA1c is stable for one week at 4-8C. At -70 °C, HbA1c is stable for many years and slightly increases if stored for more than one decade.


Frozen, on dry ice. (for general instruction on transportation, click here)

Reported values, interpretation

Reference values: 4-6%.
In diabetes patients values can range from 6.5 up to 14%.
Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): na.


1. Biroccio A, Urbani A, Massoud R, et al. (2005). A quantitative method for the analysis of glycated and glutathionylated hemoglobin by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Anal Biochem, 336(2):279-288.

2. Xu, A., Wang, Y., Li, J., Liu, G., Li, X., Chen, W. et al. (2019). Evaluation of MALDI-TOF MS for the measurement of glycated hemoglobin. Clin Chim Acta, 498, 154-160.

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