Problems and solutions in laboratory testing for hemophilia

Emmanuel J Favaloro, Piet Meijer, Ian Jennings, John Sioufi, Roslyn A Bonar, Dianne P Kitchen, Geoffrey Kershaw, Giuseppe Lippi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


A diagnosis of hemophilia A or hemophilia B begins with clinical assessment of the patient and is facilitated by laboratory testing. The influence of the latter on a diagnosis of hemophilia A or hemophilia B is clear-a diagnosis cannot be made without laboratory confirmation of a deficiency of factor FVIII (FVIII) or factor IX (FIX), respectively. Moreover, the degree of hemophilia severity is specifically characterized by laboratory test results. In turn, patient management, including choice and application of therapies, is influenced by the diagnosis, as well as by identification of respective disease severity. An incorrect diagnosis may lead to inappropriate management and unnecessary therapy, and thus to adverse outcomes. Moreover, identification of factor inhibitors in hemophilia will lead to additional and differential treatments, and incorrect identification of inhibitors or inhibitor levels may also lead to inappropriate management. Problems in hemophilia diagnosis or inhibitor detection can occur at any stage in the clinical diagnosis/laboratory interface, from the "pre-preanalytical" to "preanalytical" to "analytical" to "postanalytical" to "post-postanalytical." This report outlines the various problems in laboratory testing for hemophilia and provides various strategies or solutions to overcome these challenges. Although some outlined solutions are specific to the potential errors related to hemophilia, others are general in nature and can be applied to other areas of laboratory hemostasis. Key to improvement in this area is adoption of best practice by all involved, including clinicians, phlebotomists, and laboratories. Also key is the recognition that such errors may occur, and thus that clinicians should assess laboratory test results in the context of their patient's clinical history and follow-up any potential errors, thus avoid misdiagnoses, by requesting repeat testing on a fresh sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-833
Number of pages18
JournalSeminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


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