Laboratory identification of factor VIII inhibitors in the real world: The experience from Australasia

RCPA Haematology QAP Haemostasis Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The laboratory has a key role in the initial detection of factor inhibitors and an ongoing role in the measurement of inhibitor titres during the course of inhibitor eradication therapy. The most commonly seen factor inhibitors are those directed against factor VIII (FVIII), usually detected either using the original or Nijmegen-modified Bethesda assay. In view of previously demonstrated high variability in laboratory results for inhibitor assays, we have more extensively examined laboratory performance in the identification of FVIII inhibitors. Over the past 3 years, we conducted two questionnaire-based surveys and two wet-challenge surveys utilizing eight samples comprising no FVIII inhibitor (n = 1), or low-titre (n = 2), medium-titre (n = 3) or high-titre (n = 2) FVIII inhibitor. Four samples were tested by 42 laboratories in 2007, and four by 52 laboratories in 2009. High inter-laboratory variation was evident, with CVs around 50% not uncommon, and some 10% of all laboratories (or around 15% of laboratories using Bethesda method) failed to detect low-level inhibitors of around 1 BU mL(-1). Laboratories using the Nijmegen method appeared to perform better than those using a standard Bethesda assay, with lower evident assay variation and no false negatives. There was a wide variety of laboratory practice, with no two laboratories using exactly the same process for testing and interpretation of factor inhibitor findings. In conclusion, our study indicates that there is still much need for standardization and improvement in factor inhibitor detection, and we hope that our findings provide a basis for future improvements in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-670
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2010


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