Evaluation of clinical cases in External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) for the urinary sediment

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Abstract

Background:

The few available External Quality Assessment (EQA) programs on urinary sediment rarely include an evaluation of clinical cases. The present paper provides a descriptive analysis of clinical cases included in the Italian EQA program on urinary sediment.

Methods:

Ten cases were presented over a 5-year period (2007-2011). Each clinical case included a brief clinical history, some key laboratory data and four key urinary sediment particles obtained by phase contrast microscopy. The clinical diagnoses indicated by participants, chosen among four or five proposed, were evaluated only for those who had been able to correctly identify all four urinary sediment particles. The results of each survey were then evaluated, scored and commented on.

Results:

The numbers of participants for the 10 surveys ranged from 268 to 325. Throughout surveys, only 63.9%±17.0% (range 39.6%-88.7%) of participants achieved access to clinical diagnosis. Of these, 90.2%±8.5% (range 73.7%-98.1%) were able to indicate the correct diagnosis.

Conclusions:

Our findings demonstrate that once the correct identification of urinary sediment particles is obtained, most participants are able to associate urinary findings with the respective clinical conditions, thus establishing the correct diagnosis.

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