Evaluation of the TEST 1 erythrocyte sedimentation rate system and intra- and inter-laboratory quality control using new latex control materials

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Background:The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test has been considered to be a simple procedure, not requiring quality control (QC). However, QC is essential for accuracy and precision. We evaluated the TEST 1 ESR system and performed QC procedures using newly developed latex control materials in three hospitals.Methods:Using tripotassium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood samples (n=184), we compared TEST 1 ESR values with Westergren ESR data and evaluated intra-assay precision. Three levels of latex control materials were used to assess inter-assay precision. Reference range assessment was done using samples from 220 healthy individuals. Inter-laboratory QC with latex control materials in three hospitals was performed.Results:Correlation between TEST 1 ESR and Westergren ESR results was good (p<0.001). Intra-assay precision [coefficients of variation (CV) 6.6%-21.7%] with patient samples and inter-assay precision (CV 0.0%-6.8%) with latex control materials were satisfactory. The reference ranges of 2-10 mm/h for males and 2-19 mm/h for females were established. Inter-laboratory QC data with latex control materials in three hospitals demonstrated good accuracy and satisfactory precision (CV 0.0%-14.4%).Conclusions:Our results demonstrate that the TEST 1 QC is reliable and the latex control materials are valuable for inter-laboratory proficiency testing.

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