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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

Editor-in-Chief: Plebani, Mario

Ed. by Gillery, Philippe / Lackner, Karl J. / Lippi, Giuseppe / Melichar, Bohuslav / Schlattmann, Peter / Tate, Jillian R. / Tsongalis, Gregory J.

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Preliminary performance evaluation of blood gas analyzers

Pedro Couck1 / Timothy Ghys2 / Evelyne Van Gastel3 / Mia Van Coillie4 / Frans Gorus5 / Erik Gerlo6







Corresponding author: Pedro Couck, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Academic Hospital of the Free University Brussels, Laarbeeklaan 101, 1090 Brussels, Belgium Fax: +32-2-4775047,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine. Volume 44, Issue 8, Pages 1030–1034, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2006.185, August 2006

Publication History

March 3, 2006
May 22, 2006


Background: We evaluated the imprecision and bias of three instruments for the determination of blood gases, pH and ionized calcium (Ca2+) in human arterial blood samples, in comparison with the performance of an established methodology.

Methods: The ABL 735, Omni S and Rapidpoint 405 blood gas analyzers were evaluated and compared to the ABL 620 analyzer. Imprecision was determined according to the NCCLS EP10-A2 evaluation protocol. The NCCLS EP9-A2 evaluation protocol was used to determine bias relative to the ABL 620 system. Experimental data were compared against preset quality specifications.

Results: The three new instruments showed excellent imprecision for the measurement of pH, but only the ABL 620 met the preset imprecision goals for all analytes tested. All new instruments showed good correlation with the comparative instrument. The slope of the regression equation was significantly different from 1.0 in six out of the 12 comparisons, indicating systematic differences between the instruments. Nevertheless, the predicted bias values relative to the comparative instrument did not exceed the preset quality specifications for two out of the three new instruments.

Conclusions: Preliminary evaluation using the NCCLS evaluation protocols EP10-A2 and EP9-A2, may provide valuable information on performance characteristics of blood gas analyzers.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2006;44:1030–4.

Keywords: analytical goals; blood gas analysis; performance evaluation

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