Laboratory diagnosis of von Willebrand disorder: use of multiple functional assays reduces diagnostic error rates

Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia Quality Assurance Program in Haematology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Regular multilaboratory surveys of laboratories primarily in Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia have been conducted over the past 8 years to evaluate testing proficiency in the diagnosis of von Willebrand disorder (VWD). We have reassessed the findings of these surveys with a particular emphasis on the diagnostic errors and error rates associated with particular tests or test panel limitations. The 37 plasma samples dispatched to survey participants include 9 normal samples, 4 type 1 VWD samples, 8 type 2 VWD samples (2A x 3, 2B x 3, 2M x 1, and 2N x 1), and 4 type 3 VWD samples. In addition to providing numerical test results, participant laboratories (average, n = 35) were asked to provide diagnostic interpretations of their test results regarding whether VWD was evident and, if so, the probable subtype. Although laboratories usually provided correct interpretative responses, diagnostic errors occurred in a substantial number of cases. On average, type 1 VWD plasma was misidentified as type 2 VWD plasma in 11% of cases, and laboratories that performed the ristocetin cofactor assay for von Willebrand factor (VWF:RCo) without performing the collagen-binding activity assay for VWF (VWF:CB) were 6 times more likely to make such an error than those that did perform the VWF:CB. Similarly, type 2 VWD plasma samples were misidentified as type 1 or type 3 VWD in an average of 20% of cases, and laboratories that performed the VWF:RCo without the VWF:CB were 3 times more likely to make such an error than those that performed the VWF:CB. Finally, normal plasma was misidentified as VWD plasma in an average of 5% of cases, and laboratories that performed the VWF:RCo without the VWF:CB were 10 times more likely to make such an error than those that performed the VWF:CB. We conclude that laboratories are generally proficient in their testing for VWD and that diagnostic error rates are substantially reduced when test panels are more comprehensive and include the VWF:CB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-7
Number of pages7
JournalLaboratory hematology : official publication of the International Society for Laboratory Hematology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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