European Concerted Action on Anticoagulation (ECAA). An assessment of lyophilised plasmas for ISI calibration of CoaguChek and TAS whole blood prothrombin time monitors.

ECAA Central Facility, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.
Journal of Clinical Pathology (Impact Factor: 2.92). 03/2003; 56(2):114-9.
Source: PubMed


The recommended method for the international sensitivity index (ISI) calibration of whole blood point of care testing (POCT) prothrombin time (PT) systems was originally described by Tripodi et al in 1993 but is too complex and demanding. The present European Concerted Action on Anticoagulation (ECAA) study aimed to assess the reliability of simpler ISI calibration using lyophilised plasma samples.
ISI calibrations using three different types of ECAA lyophilised plasma samples (artificially depleted, individual, and pooled coumarin) were compared with whole blood calibrations on CoaguChek Mini and TAS PT-NC POCT monitors at 10 centres.
With CoaguChek Mini systems, lyophilised coumarin plasma samples (both single donation and pooled) gave ISI and international normalised ratio (INR) values comparable to whole blood. With artificially depleted plasma, ISI and INR values were too high. With TAS PT-NC systems, all three types of lyophilised plasma samples gave inaccurate ISI and unreliable INR results, similar to previous ECAA findings with fresh plasma calibrations.
With CoaguChek Mini systems, ISI calibration can be simplified by the use of ECAA lyophilised plasma samples from coumarin treated patients. Further study is needed to devise a simpler calibration method for the TAS PT-NC system.

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    • "In addition, there is a need to control pre analytical errors which occur in PT/INR monitoring at both home and the hospital [3]; otherwise patients might stop self-testing for economic, social and psychological reasons. Another issue that patients raised in their blogs was the availability of technical services for self-testing device calibration, which should be timely, regularly and standardised to ensure safety and confidence in the equipment both by patients and by those professionally monitoring device use [42]. "
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    ABSTRACT: International sensitivity index (ISI) calibration of whole blood prothrombin time (PT) monitors is too complex. We previously simplified the method by using European Concerted Action on Anticoagulation (ECAA) lyophilized plasma samples with the TAS PT-NC (Bayer AG, Leverkusen, Germany) and the CoaguChek Mini (Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany) whole blood PT monitoring systems. The TAS PT-NC required a correction derived from the line of equivalence. Monte Carlo bootstrap analysis of reducing numbers of test samples was performed with both systems. Plasma samples from patients receiving coumarin (coumarin samples), healthy subjects (normal samples), and plasma samples artificially depleted of coagulation factors were used. With the TAS PT-NC, 20 coumarin samples or 20 artificially depleted samples with 7 normal samples gave reliable ISI and international normalized ratio and satisfactory precision. With the CoaguChek Mini, 30 coumarin and 10 normal samples were required. Simplification of ISI calibration of the 2 monitoring systems is possible using fewer ECAA lyophilized plasma samples than the 80 required according to the World Health Organization guidelines for conventional PT systems and previously recommended for fresh plasma samples tested on the same 2 monitoring systems.
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