J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 16.
Carter GD, Berry JL, Gunter E, Jones G, Jones JC, Makin HL, Sufi S, Wheeler MJ.
Clinical Biochemistry, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London, W6 8RF, UK.
The Vitamin D External Quality Assessment Scheme (DEQAS) has been monitoring 25-OHD assay performance since 1989. The scheme has expanded rapidly in recent years and has 670 participants in 35 countries (July 2009). Five samples of human serum are distributed quarterly and the results analyzed to give an All-Laboratory Trimmed Mean (ALTM) and SD. Each participant has internet access to a preliminary report after submission of results and, following the results deadline, a final report is e-mailed to designated staff in each laboratory.
The last 15 years has seen an improvement in mean inter-laboratory imprecision (CV), from 32.0% (1994) to 15.3% (2009) and most major methods are now giving results within plus or minus 7.4% of the ALTM (2009). DEQAS has regularly conducted and reported on a number of investigations into the performance of 25-OHD methods. A gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) reference method for 25-OHD is under development and will be used to assess whether the ALTM remains the most appropriate target for DEQAS samples. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. PMID: 20302938