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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2013 Jul;51(7):1443-57. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2012-0422.

The Asian project for collaborative derivation of reference intervals: (2) results of non-standardized analytes and transference of reference intervals to the participating laboratories on the basis of cross-comparison of test results.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, Minami-Kogushi 1-1-1, Ube 755-8505, Japan.



The 2009 Asian multicenter study for derivation of reference intervals (RIs) featured: 1) centralized measurements to exclude reagent-dependent variations; 2) inclusion of non-standardized analytes (hormones, tumor makers, etc.) in the target; and 3) cross-check of test results between the central and local laboratories. Transferability of centrally derived RIs for non-standardized analytes based on the cross-check was examined.


Forty non-standardized analytes were centrally measured in sera from 3541 reference individuals recruited by 63 laboratories. Forty-four laboratories collaborated in the cross-check study by locally measuring aliquots of sera from 9 to 73 volunteers (average 22.2). Linear relationships were obtained by the major-axis regression. Error in converting RIs using the regression line was expressed by the coefficient of variation of slope b [CV(b)]. CV(b) <10% was set as the cut-off value allowing the conversion. The significance of factors for partitioning RIs was determined similarly as in the first report.


Significant sex-, age-, and region-related changes in test results were observed in 17, 15, and 11 of the 40 analytes, respectively. In the cross-comparison study, test results were not harmonized in the majority of immunologically measured analytes, but their average CV(b)s were <10% except for total protein, cystatin C, CA19-9, free thyroxine, and triiodothyronine. After conversion, 74% of centrally derived RIs were transferred to each local laboratory.


Our results point to the feasibility of: 1) harmonizing test results across different laboratories; and 2) sharing centrally derived RIs of non-standardized analytes by means of comparative measurement of a set of commutable specimens.

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