Verification of new lot reagent’s suitability is necessary to ensure that results for patients’ samples are consistent before and after reagent lot changes. A typical procedure is to measure results of some patients’ samples along with quality control (QC) materials. In this study, the results of patients’ samples and QC materials in reagent lot changes were analysed. In addition, the opinion regarding QC target range adjustment along with reagent lot changes was proposed. Patients’ sample and QC material results of 360 reagent lot change events involving 61 analytes and eight instrument platforms were analysed. The between-lot differences for the patients’ samples (ΔP) and the QC materials (ΔQC) were tested by Mann–Whitney U tests. The size of the between-lot differences in the QC data was calculated as multiples of standard deviation (SD). The ΔP and ΔQC values only differed significantly in 7.8% of the reagent lot change events. This frequency was not affected by the assay principle or the QC material source. One SD was proposed for the cutoff for maintaining pre-existing target range after reagent lot change. While non-commutable QC material results were infrequent in the present study, our data confirmed that QC materials have limited usefulness when assessing new reagent lots. Also a 1 SD standard for establishing a new QC target range after reagent lot change event was proposed.
- Quality assurance and control
- laboratory methods