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Adv Clin Chem. 2015;71:157-70. doi: 10.1016/bs.acc.2015.05.002. Epub 2015 Jun 23.

Systematic Assessment of the Hemolysis Index: Pros and Cons.

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Laboratory of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Academic Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy. Electronic address:


Preanalytical quality is as important as the analytical and postanalytical quality in laboratory diagnostics. After decades of visual inspection to establish whether or not a diagnostic sample may be suitable for testing, automated assessment of hemolysis index (HI) has now become available in a large number of laboratory analyzers. Although most national and international guidelines support systematic assessment of sample quality via HI, there is widespread perception that this indication has not been thoughtfully acknowledged. Potential explanations include concern of increased specimen rejection rate, poor harmonization of analytical techniques, lack of standardized units of measure, differences in instrument-specific cutoff, negative impact on throughput, organization and laboratory economics, and lack of a reliable quality control system. Many of these concerns have been addressed. Evidence now supports automated HI in improving quality and patient safety. These will be discussed.


Harmonization; Hemolysis; Hemolysis index; Preanalytical variability; Standardization

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