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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 130  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1079-1084

Investigation and Analysis of Hemoglobin A1c Measurement Systems' Performance for 135 Laboratories in China


National Center for Clinical Laboratories, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Beijing Engineering Research Center of Laboratory Medicine, Beijing 100730, China

Correspondence Address:
Chuan-Bao Zhang
National Center for Clinical Laboratories, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Beijing Engineering Research Center of Laboratory Medicine, No. 1 Dahua Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100730
China
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0366-6999.204932

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Background: Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measurement is of great value for the diagnosis and monitoring of diabetes. Many manufacturers have developed various experiments to determine the HbA1c concentration. However, the longitudinal use of these tests requires strict quality management. This study aimed to analyze the quality of HbA1c measurement systems in China using six sigma techniques to help improve their performances. Methods: A total of 135 laboratories were involved in this investigation in 2015. Bias values and coefficients of variation were collected from an HbA1c trueness verification external quality assessment program and an internal quality control program organized by the National Center of Clinical Laboratories in China. The sigma (σ) values and the quality goal index (QGI) were used to evaluate the performances of different groups, which were divided according to principles and instruments. Results: The majority of participants (88, 65.2%) were scored as “improvement needed (σ < 3)”, suggesting that the laboratories needed to improve their measurement performance. Only 8.2% (11/135) of the laboratories were scored as “world class (σ ≥ 6)”. Among all the 88 laboratories whose σ values were below 3, 52 (59.1%) and 23 (26.1%) laboratories needed to improve measurement precision (QGI <8.0) and trueness (QGI >1.2), respectively; the remaining laboratories (13, 14.8%) needed to improve both measurement precision and trueness. In addition, 16.1% (5/31) and 15.0% (3/20) of the laboratories in “TOSOH” and “ARKRAY” groups, respectively, were scored as “world class”, whereas none of the laboratories in “BIO-RAD” group were scored as “world class”. Conclusions: This study indicated that, although participating laboratories were laboratories with better performance in China, the performances were still unsatisfactory. Actions should be taken to improve HbA1c measurement performance before we can include HbA1c assays in diabetes diagnosis in China.


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