Human blood is a self-regenerating lipid-rich biological fluid that is routinely collected in hospital settings. The inventory of lipid molecules found in blood plasma (plasma lipidome) offers insights into individual metabolism and physiology in health and disease. Disturbances in the plasma lipidome also occur in conditions that are not directly linked to lipid metabolism; therefore, plasma lipidomics based on MS is an emerging tool in an array of clinical diagnostics and disease management. However, challenges exist in the translation of such lipidomic data to clinical applications. These relate to the reproducibility, accuracy, and precision of lipid quantitation, study design, sample handling, and data sharing. This position paper emerged from a workshop that initiated a community-led process to elaborate and define a set of generally accepted guidelines for quantitative MS-based lipidomics of blood plasma or serum, with harmonization of data acquired on different instrumentation platforms across independent laboratories as an ultimate goal. We hope that other fields may benefit from and follow such a precedent.
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