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Semin Thromb Hemost. 2005 Feb;31(1):73-84.

A multilaboratory peer assessment quality assurance program-based evaluation of anticardiolipin antibody, and beta2-glycoprotein I antibody testing.

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Haemostasis Laboratories, Department of Haematology, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Walls, Australia.


We evaluated the performance of anticardiolipin (aCL) and beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2-GPI) antibody assays through a large external quality assurance program. Data from the 2002 cycle of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Program (RCPA QAP) were analyzed for variation in reported numerical values and semiquantitative results or interpretations according to method type or group and in conjunction with available clinical data. High interlaboratory variation in numerical results and notable method-based variation, combined with a general lack of consensus in semiquantitative reporting, continues to be observed. Numerical results from cross-laboratory testing of 12 serum samples (for immunoglobulin G [IgG]-aCL, IgM-aCL, and IgG-beta2-GPI) yielded interlaboratory coefficients of variation (CVs) that were higher than 50% in six of 12 (50%) specimens for IgG-aCL, and 12 of 12 (100%) specimens for IgM-aCL and IgG-beta2-GPI. Semiquantitative reporting also varied considerably, with total (100%) consensus occurring in only four of 36 (11%) occasions. General consensus (where > 90% of participating laboratories agreed that a given serum sample gave a result of either negative or positive) was only obtained on 13 of 36 (36%) occasions. Variation in results between different method types or groups were also present, resulting in potential biasing of the RCPA QAP-defined target results by the large number of laboratories using the dominant aCL assays. Finally, laboratory findings frequently did not agree with the available clinical information. In conclusion, in a large proportion of specimens from the 2002 RCPA QAP cycle, laboratories could not agree on whether a serum sample tested was aCL-positive or aCL-negative, or beta2-GPI-positive or beta2-GPI-negative. Despite prior attempts to improve the standardization of testing and reporting practices, laboratory testing for aCL and anti-beta2-GPI still demonstrates significant interlaboratory and intermethod variation, which needs to be taken into account for the clinical interpretation of test results, especially those from different laboratories.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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