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Publications (6)19.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Context.-D-dimer is widely used for exclusion, or as an aid in diagnosis, of venous thromboembolism (VTE); however, the D-dimer assay methods available from manufacturers and the laboratory application of those methods vary widely. Objectives.-To describe the current laboratory practice regarding the assay and reporting of D-dimer. Design.-Laboratories' D-dimer proficiency testing data were analyzed and laboratory practices regarding the performance and reporting of D-dimer were surveyed. Results.-Initial grading of D-dimer proficiency testing demonstrated high variability within and among methods. This variability continued to be present for several years after attempts to intervene. The number of laboratories using D-dimer to exclude VTE grew from 1500 in 2004 to more than 3500 in 2012. Survey and proficiency testing data demonstrated that 33% of laboratories changed the type or magnitude of units from that recommended by the manufacturer, a practice associated with as much as a 20-fold increase in the failure of proficiency testing. Many laboratories used a threshold for the exclusion of VTE that is higher than that recommended by the manufacturer. Many laboratories continue to use qualitative assays with insufficient sensitivity for exclusion of VTE. Conclusions.-There is considerable variability both within and among quantitative methods used to assay D-dimer by laboratories. Laboratory practice continues to vary widely regarding the type and magnitude of units reported and the setting of the threshold for the exclusion of VTE. Although improved, the variability continues despite initial efforts to intervene.
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 08/2013; 137(8):1030-8. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The international normalized ratio (INR) is widely used to monitor oral anticoagulation and to evaluate patients with coagulation disorders. To examine the variability of the performance and reporting of the INR and to evaluate laboratory calculation of the INR. Between 1993 and 2003, laboratories participating in proficiency testing were surveyed. Participants provided the international sensitivity index and the mean normal prothrombin time used to calculate the INR. The INR was calculated from the data provided and compared with the INR reported to determine if the calculation was correct. Survey data regarding the INR collected between 1993 and 2003 demonstrate an improvement in reporting, using appropriate anticoagulant, using lower international sensitivity index reagents, and matching international sensitivity index and prothrombin time method. The all-method coefficient of variation of the INR improved from 18% to 5.8%. Among 3813 laboratories studied in 2002 and 2003, 4.1% miscalculated INR. Of 29 laboratories that reported investigation of the INR miscalculation, 11 (38%) reported correcting an INR that was being reported in patient results and that this error was corrected as a result of the study. Since beginning grading of the INR calculation, miscalculation of the INR has fallen to less than 1%. Recommendations for change in laboratory practice made by consensus conferences are implemented during the course of many years. Difficulty calculating the INR was documented, and both the calculation and the variability in the reporting of the INR showed improvement. Proficiency testing, when closely evaluated and acted on, can have a direct impact on the quality of patient care.
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 12/2007; 131(11):1641-7. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: External quality assurance (EQA) is an important component of the total quality assurance program of a clinical hemostasis laboratory. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) helps meet this requirement by providing a proficiency testing program that evaluates a broad range of hemostasis methods and analytes. This article reviews the published experience of the CAP proficiency testing program in hemostasis. The purpose is to formulate general conclusions about the benefits of EQA. Between 1963 and 2006, the performance characteristics of a variety of tests have been evaluated, including the prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, coagulation factor activity assays (e.g., fibrinogen, factor [F] VIII, FIX, FXI), von Willebrand factor assays, unfractionated heparin monitoring, lupus anticoagulant testing, and platelet function. Based on the results of these evaluations, the major benefits of EQA are to (1) enhance patient care and safety through improved laboratory testing; (2) characterize test accuracy and precision across multiple methods; (3) correlate specific method variables with accuracy and precision; (4) identify interfering substances and quantify their effects across multiple methods; (5) identify clinical laboratories that are at risk for poor performance so that their performance can improve; and (6) satisfy accreditation and regulatory requirements.
    Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis 04/2007; 33(3):250-8. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fondaparinux, a factor Xa inhibitor, is approved for thromboprophylaxis after orthopedic surgery and for treatment of venous thromboembolism. It may also be efficacious, safe, and cost-effective for other patients; thus, more widespread use of fondaparinux is likely. The effect of fondaparinux on coagulation testing needs to be thoroughly examined. To report the effects of fondaparinux on coagulation tests (prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, antithrombin, factor VIII, thrombin time, anti-factor Xa) across diverse methodologies. Samples with different concentrations of fondaparinux (0, 0.4, 0.8, and 2.0 microg/mL) were sent to laboratories participating in the College of American Pathologists Comprehensive Coagulation proficiency survey (N = 898). Laboratory-specific methods were used to assay coagulation parameters. Prophylactic or therapeutic fondaparinux prolonged the prothrombin time by approximately 1 second and the activated partial thromboplastin time by 4 to 5 seconds, and reduced factor VIII from 119% to 107% and 102%, respectively. Supratherapeutic fondaparinux reduced factor VIII to 85%. The activated partial thromboplastin time was prolonged in 19%, 29%, and 52% of laboratories with prophylactic, therapeutic, and supratherapeutic fondaparinux levels, respectively. Fibrinogen, antithrombin, and thrombin time assays did not show clinically significant changes. When measuring fondaparinux concentration using an anti-factor Xa assay, the most accurate results were obtained when fondaparinux was used as the calibrator. Fondaparinux, even in prophylactic doses, slightly prolongs the prothrombin time and activated partial thromboplastin time and can interfere with factor VIII assays, but it has no clinically relevant effect on fibrinogen, antithrombin, or thrombin time. A fondaparinux standard curve should be used for reporting fondaparinux levels using an anti-factor Xa assay.
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 12/2006; 130(11):1605-11. · 2.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The U.S. College of American Pathologists (CAP) has conducted a focused study of the proficiency testing for von Willebrand disease (vWD) analysis from 2003 to 2005. This report summarizes the findings regarding the accuracy and precision of the various assays at different analyte levels, as well as the influence of the reference material used to construct the assay standard curve. The results show that testing of von Willebrand factor (vWF):antigen (vWF:Ag) and ristocetin cofactor activity (vWF:RCo) is reasonably accurate, with all-method mean values falling within 3.2 and 5.6%, respectively, of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Secondary Coagulation Standard (lot 2) assigned values. vWF:Ag measurements are reasonably precise (all-method coefficients of variation [CVs] = 10.7 to 15.1%), even at lower levels of vWF. The highest precision was observed for immunoturbidometric assays (CVs, 6.3 to 9.7%). vWF:RCo measurements are less precise (all-method CVs, 23.3 to 30.9%). The reference materials used in the standard curves for immunoturbidometric vWF:Ag assays appear to have accurately assigned vWF values for the majority of commercial suppliers.
    Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis 08/2006; 32(5):499-504. · 4.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dysfibrinogenemia is a coagulation disorder caused by a variety of structural abnormalities in the fibrinogen molecule that result in abnormal fibrinogen function. It can be inherited or acquired. The inherited form is associated with increased risk of bleeding, thrombosis, or both in the same patient or family. Traditionally, dysfibrinogenemia is diagnosed by abnormal tests of fibrin clot formation; the thrombin time and reptilase time are the screening tests, and the fibrinogen clotting activity-antigen ratio is the confirmatory test. The inherited form is diagnosed by demonstrating similar laboratory test abnormalities in family members, and if necessary by analysis of the fibrinogen protein or fibrinogen genes in the patient. The acquired form is diagnosed by demonstrating abnormal liver function tests and by ruling out dysfibrinogenemia in family members. This article reviews the laboratory testing of dysfibrinogenemia and presents an algorithm for sequential test selection that can be used for diagnosis.
    Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine 05/2002; 126(4):499-505. · 2.78 Impact Factor