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pISSN 2950-9114 eISSN 2950-9122
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Report On Proficiency Testing

Lab Med Qual Assur 2021; 43(4): 176-184

Published online December 31, 2021


Copyright © Korean Association of External Quality Assessment Service.

Report of the Korean Association of External Quality Assessment Service on Cardiac Marker Testing (2016–2020)

Jong Do Seo1 , Hanah Kim1,2 , and Yeo-Min Yun1,2

1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center; 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence to:Yeo-Min Yun
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, 120-1 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05030, Korea
Tel +82-2-2030-5582
E-mail ymyun@kuh.ac.kr

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiac marker tests are useful tools to diagnose acute coronary syndrome and predict its prognosis; therefore, reliable test results are required. The Korean Association of External Quality Assessment Service has conducted a proficiency test program for cardiac marker tests twice a year since 2016 using low- and medium-level pooled serum and high-level commercial quality control (QC) material. This report summarizes the results of the proficiency tests performed from 2016 to 2020. The number of participating laboratories increased from 321 in 2016 (1st trial) to 476 in 2020 (2nd trial). Items that showed the highest increase in participation during this period were tests for N-terminal-pro brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) (+86.2%) and creatine kinase-myocardial band (CK-MB) mass tests (+73.2%), whereas the corresponding BNP (–6.6%) and CK-MB activity (–26.5%) items were decreased. The most and least commonly tested items were CK-MB mass in 417 laboratories, and CK-MB activity in 25 laboratories, respectively. The coefficients of variation (CVs) differed among the manufacturers, and among different instruments from the same manufacturer. In 2020, during the 2nd trial, the lowest CV was confirmed in the troponin T test using the same manufacturer’s instruments, for the medium-level pooled serum sample. However, the CV for high-level commercial QC material was higher. Similarly, the NT-proBNP test for commercial QC material showed higher CV compared to pooled serum. These results are considered to originate from the non-commutability of commercial QC material; therefore, obtaining the commutability of the materials for the external quality assessment program is required.

Keywords: Cardiac marker, External quality assessment, Commutability

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