Analytic bias among certified methods for the measurement of hemoglobin A1c: a cause for concern? Academic Article uri icon


  • We studied the magnitude, significance, and origin of an analytic bias that emerged between our point-of-care (POC) and our central laboratory (CL) methods for the measurement of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and evaluated the analytic accuracy of 7 commonly used HbA1c methods relative to the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) reference method. The POC and CL methods were compared by split-sample analysis of clinical specimens and time series analyses of the HbA1c results reported for a 33-month period. The relative accuracies of 7 HbA1c methods were evaluated using College of American Pathologists proficiency survey results. Long-term drifts in the CL- and POC-analyzed test results caused the median intermethod bias [(POC result)-(CL result)] to increase from -0.4% to -0.9% HbA1c. Systematic biases, drifts in analytic performance over time, and intermethod variability were frequently observed among the 7 NGSP-certified HbA1c methods. Intermethod variability is a potential source of inaccuracy whenever HbA1c results are interpreted relative to universal, fixed, clinical decision thresholds.

publication date

  • April 2008