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Jacobson B.E.,Canadian External Quality Assessment Laboratory CEQAL | Seccombe D.W.,Canadian External Quality Assessment Laboratory CEQAL | Seccombe D.W.,University of British Columbia | Katayev A.,Laboratory Corporation of America Laboratory Corporation | Levin A.,University of British Columbia
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: The objective of the study was to examine the bias of albumin and albumin/creatinine (ACR) measurements in urine. Methods: Pools of normal human urine were augmented with purified human serum albumin to generate a series of 12 samples covering the clinical range of interest for the measurement of ACR. Albumin and creatinine concentrations in these samples were analyzed three times on each of 3 days by 24 accredited laboratories in Canada and the USA. Reference values (RV) for albumin measurements were assigned by a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) comparative method and gravimetrically. Ten random urine samples (check samples) were analyzed as singlets and albumin and ACR values reported according to the routine practices of each laboratory. Results: Augmented urine pools were shown to be commutable. Gravimetrically assigned target values were corrected for the presence of endogenous albumin using the LC-MS/MS comparative method. There was excellent agreement between the RVs as assigned by these two methods. All laboratory medians demonstrated a negative bias for the measurement of albumin in urine over the concentration range examined. The magnitude of this bias tended to decrease with increasing albumin concentrations. At baseline, only 10% of the patient ACR values met a performance limit of RV ±15%. This increased to 84% and 86% following post-analytical correction for albumin and creatinine calibration bias, respectively. Conclusions: International organizations should take a leading role in the standardization of albumin measurements in urine. In the interim, accuracy based urine quality control samples may be used by clinical laboratories for monitoring the accuracy of their urinary albumin measurements.

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