IEQAS has been collaborating with this project annually since it was established in 2016, involving EQA providers in over 17 predominantly European countries. Two samples are distributed simultaneously via multiple EQA organisers to establish a European-wide picture of HbA1c performance. The project is part of the IFCC Committee for Education in the Use of Biomarkers in Diabetes (C-EUBD).
The success of this EurA1c project highlights the importance of EQA in driving analytical quality improvement and follows on from the successful 2011 implementation of International Standardisation of HbA1c in Ireland (see item below).
Dr Cas Weykamp (NL) is leading this project and will give a presentation at our 2018 IEQAS Conference (4th Oct). It is vital that such quality standards be maintained.
2018: Samples were sent to participants on 16 Oct 2018. All data is assessed by IEQAS as usual; anonymized results from samples tested within 5 days of blood donation are submitted to the EurA1c project.
2017: Report (updated 16/10/2018 to correct 2017-1 Overall Mean, Bias and CV%; Table 6, page 9).
The Irish performance is again very good, although an issue with the Siemens DCA Vantage analysers in Ireland was highlighted. There was a mean bias of +2.2 mmol/mol for these analysers in the 2017 survey. This bias was noted by IEQAS and further investigation with the supplier and the HPRA, revealed a calibration issue, which has since been resolved.
Thank you to all IEQAS participants who contributed to this important project.
2016: "Ireland best performance testing" 1
The 2016 EurA1c published data shows that Irish (IEQAS) participants demonstrated the best performance (bias, CV) of the 10 countries collaborating in the fresh blood element of the survey. Congratulations to our Irish participants, laboratory and NPT/POCT, who all performed very well.
1 see also interview with Dr Cas Weykamp, IFCC News, No 6/7, Jul/Aug 2018
The aim of this survey was to gather information on the reporting of HbA1c by laboratories when a variant haemoglobin has been detected. The findings were presented at the 2012 IEQAS Conference, and formed the basis of a minimum report comment for reporting HbA1c results in the case of variant haemoglobins, endorsed by Dr Diarmuid Smith, Clinical Lead, HSE National Clinical Programme for Diabetes.
As requested by the HSE Project Team, IEQAS distributed seven additional samples to verify the IFCC-calibration of HbA1c, prior to its implementation on 1st July 2010. Dual reporting (DCCT and IFCC) continued until 16th January 2012. IEQAS actively participated in the HSE Project Team, which was chaired by IEQAS Chairman, Dr Ned Barrett. The project involved manufacturers and suppliers of HbA1c analysers and POCT meters, diabetes nurses, consultants, endocrinologists, GPs, healthcare professionals and patients. Every analyser and POCT meter in the country was traced (many required replacement or an upgrade); all were eventually verified. Reports were presented at IEQAS Conferences 2010 and 2009.
Survey assessed the accuracy of HbA1c measurement in diabetic patients harbouring relatively common haemoglobinopathies. Results were reported IEQAS Conference 2006; also published IJMS Vol 175 No 4 Supplement 2: 35, 2006.