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EQA-based evaluation of metrological traceability of clinical chemistry test results in Argentina
Abstract and Figures
Equivalence of results among laboratories is a major mission for medical laboratories. In the Netherlands, medical laboratories only use homogenous, commercial for general chemistry analytes, whereas in Argentina heterogenous, home brew test applications are common. The effect of this practice difference on test accuracy is studied using key features of the accuracy-based EQA program of the Netherlands. Six frozen, human-based, commutable poolsera, covering the (patho) physiological measuring range for 17 general chemistry analytes, were assayed by 75 Argentinian labs and 200 Dutch laboratories in 2014. After removal of outliers, harmonization status among laboratories was evaluated by calculating overall mean interlaboratory coef cients of variation (CVs, %) per analyte and per country for all 6 levels. Evenso, standardization status was evaluated after removal of outliers by calculating overall mean recoveries (%) as compared to the assigned target values per analyte per country for all 6 levels. Absolute median biases were compared to (minimal/desirable) biases derived from biological variation criteria. For serum enzymes interlaboratory CVs in the Argentinian laboratories ranged between 10 and 22%, as compared to 3-6% in the Netherlands. For serum uric acid, creatinine, glucose and total protein, interlaboratory CVs varied between 4.3 and 13.1% in Argentinian labs, as compared to <3.5% in the Netherlands. For serum electrolytes, interlaboratory CVs ranged between 1.8 and 3.8% for Na+; 2.9-5.8% for Cl-; 3.8-7.5% for K+; 9.4-10.4% for Ca2+ and 16.2-22.3% for Mg2+ as compared to 2% (Na+, K+, Cl-, Ca2+) and 3% (Mg2+) in the Netherlands. Mean recoveries in Argentinian laboratories for e.g. serum creatinine, glucose, CK, Ca2+ and Na+ were 95-119%; 95-104%; 98-102%; 98-102% and 96-100% respectively, whereas min-max recovery ranges were 65-155%; 58-126%; 47-132%; 66-132% and 85-115%. In the Netherlands, absolute mean recoveries were overall 98.9% with a SD of 2.0%. Median biases in Argentinian laboratories ranged from -2.9 to 18.2%; -3.1 - 2.6%; -3.3 - 0.5%; -1.1 - 3.8% and -4.3-0% for serum creatinine, glucose, CK, Ca2+ and Na+. In the Netherlands overall mean/median biases were 1.1% (SD=2.0%). Exchange of commutable, value- assigned EQA-materials was helpful for studying the harmonization and standardization status of medical tests in Argentina, and for revealing the future harmonization and standardization potential. The results clearly demonstrate that metrological traceability of test results in Argentina is on average in line with what is expected; yet, the spreading among laboratories is far too high and should be improved.
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