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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

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

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Volume 47, Issue 10 (Oct 2009)


HbA1c measurements from dried blood spots: validation and patient satisfaction

M. Rebecca Fokkema
  • Stichting Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium, Medical Center Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
/ Andries J. Bakker
  • Stichting Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium, Medical Center Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
/ Fokje de Boer
  • Stichting Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium, Hospital De Sionsberg, Dokkum, The Netherlands
/ Jeltsje Kooistra
  • Stichting Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium, Medical Center Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
/ Sifra de Vries
  • Stichting Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium, Medical Center Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
/ Albert Wolthuis
  • Stichting Klinisch Chemisch Laboratorium, Medical Center Leeuwarden, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Published Online: 2009-09-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2009.274


Background: This study evaluates HbA1c measurements from dried blood spots collected on filter paper and compares HbA1c from filter paper (capillary blood) with HbA1c measured in venous blood.

Methods: Patient satisfaction was evaluated using a questionnaire. The performance with the filter paper method was assessed by comparing HbA1c results from EDTA-blood samples obtained via dried blood spots with HbA1c results obtained with freshly hemolyzed blood (routine HbA1c). Adult patients visiting the outpatient clinic for HbA1c analyses were recruited for the evaluation of dried blood spot sampling at home. Laboratory personnel collected a capillary blood sample on filter paper as well as a venous EDTA-blood sample. The participants collected another capillary blood sample at home and sent the dried filter paper back to the laboratory. Samples were analyzed with an immunoturbidimetric assay.

Results: Between-filter coefficient of variation was 1.8%. Filter paper HbA1c increased slightly during storage, particularly during the first 5 days. Filter paper HbA1c highly correlated with routine HbA1c (r=0.987). The evaluation of samples collected at home showed comparable HbA1c values by filter paper and routine sampling methods (n=93). Eighty-three percent of participants said they would like the filter method to be brought into practice.

Conclusions: Home HbA1c sampling on filter paper is an acceptable sampling alternative for analysis of HbA1c.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:1259–64.

Keywords: capillary blood; dried blood spots; filter paper; HbA1c; patient satisfaction

About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. M.R. Fokkema, Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen, Department of Laboratory Medicine, CMC-V, Room Y2.119, HPA EA61, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands Phone: +31 50 3615118,

Received: 2009-03-12

Accepted: 2009-07-06

Published Online: 2009-09-14

Published in Print: 2009-10-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2009.274. Export Citation

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