METHODS: Five fresh-pooled blood samples were sent to participating laboratories twice each year. The results were evaluated against target values assigned by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program network laboratories; a passing criterion of +/-7% of the target value was used. Measurement uncertainty at Hb A(1c) concentrations of 7.0% and 8.0% were determined.
RESULTS: A total of 276 laboratories from 11 countries took part in the Hb A(1c) survey. At the Hb A(1c) concentrations tested method-specific interlaboratory imprecision (CVs) were 1.1%-13.9% in 2005, 1.3%-10.1% in 2006, 1.2%-8.2% in 2007, and 1.1%-6.1% in 2008. Differences between target values and median values from the commonly used methods ranged from -0.24% to 0.22% Hb A(1c) in 2008. In 2005 83% of laboratories passed the survey, and in 2008 93% passed. At 7.0% Hb A(1c), measurement uncertainty was on average 0.49% Hb A(1c).
CONCLUSIONS: The use of accuracy-based proficiency testing with stringent quality criteria has improved the performance of Hb A(1c) testing in the Asian and Pacific laboratories during the 4 years of assessment.
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