Review Article l 01 July 2024

Guide to Rho(D) Immune Globulin in Women With Molecularly Defined Asian-type DEL (c.1227G>A)

In Hwa Jeong, M.D., SooHo Yu et al.

Ann Lab Med 2024; 44: 307-313
Rh hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn is a potential risk for D-negative mothers who produce anti-D during pregnancy, which can lead to morbidity and mortality in subsequent pregnancies. To prevent this hemolytic disease, Rho(D) immune globul...

Keywords: Asian-type DEL, Pregnant women, Rho(D) immune globulin, Weak D

Review Article l 01 July 2024

Manufacturing Cell and Gene Therapies: Challenges in Clinical Translation

Na Kyung Lee, Ph.D. and Jong Wook Chang, Ph.D.

Ann Lab Med 2024; 44: 314-323
The safety and efficacy of both cell and gene therapies have been demonstrated in numerous preclinical and clinical trials. Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy, which leverages the technologies of both cell and gene therapies, has also s...

Keywords: Cell therapy, Chimeric antigen receptor T, Clinical translation, Gene therapy, Manufacturing, Mesenchymal stem cells, Viral vectors

Review Article l 01 May 2024

Current Challenges in Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell Therapy in Patients With B-cell Lymphoid Malignancies

Seok Jin Kim, M.D., Ph.D. et al.

Ann Lab Med 2024; 44: 210-221
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a promising immunotherapy based on genetically engineered T cells derived from patients. The introduction of CAR T-cell therapy has changed the treatment paradigm of patients with B-cell lymphoid mali...

Keywords: Chimeric antigen receptor, Cytokine toxicity, Efficacy, Lymphoma, Multiple myeloma

Review Article l 01 March 2024

The Use of Bone-Turnover Markers in Asia-Pacific Populations

Samuel Vasikaran, M.D., Subashini C. Thambiah et al.

Ann Lab Med 2024; 44: 126-134
Bone-turnover marker (BTM) measurements in the blood or urine reflect the bone-remodeling rate and may be useful for studying and clinically managing metabolic bone diseases. Substantial evidence supporting the diagnostic use of BTMs has accumulated ...

Keywords: Bisphosphonate, Bone fracture, Bone-turnover marker, Monitoring, Osteoporosis, Reference interval, Renal osteodystrophy, Risk, Standardization, Treatment

Review Article l 01 March 2024

Exploring Renal Function Assessment: Creatinine, Cystatin C, and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate Focused on the European Kidney Function Consortium Equation

Hans Pottel, Ph.D., Pierre Delanaye et al.

Ann Lab Med 2024; 44: 135-143
Serum creatinine and serum cystatin C are the most widely used renal biomarkers for calculating the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which is used to estimate the severity of kidney damage. In this review, we present the basic characteris...

Keywords: Creatinine, Cystatin C, Estimated glomerular filtration rate, Kidney

Review Article l 01 January 2024

Bias in Laboratory Medicine: The Dark Side of the Moon

Abdurrahman Coskun, M.D.

Ann Lab Med 2024; 44: 6-20
Physicians increasingly use laboratory-produced information for disease diagnosis, patient monitoring, treatment planning, and evaluations of treatment effectiveness. Bias is the systematic deviation of laboratory test results from the actual value, ...

Keywords: Bias, Confidence interval, Diagnostic error, Quality control, Total quality management, Uncertainty

  • Review Article2022-09-01 Diagnostic Hematology

    Unreliable Automated Complete Blood Count Results: Causes, Recognition, and Resolution

    Gene Gulati, Ph.D., Guldeep Uppal, M.D., and Jerald Gong, M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(5): 515-530

    Abstract : Automated hematology analyzers generate accurate complete blood counts (CBC) results on nearly all specimens. However, every laboratory encounters, at times, some specimens that yield no or inaccurate result(s) for one or more CBC parameters even when the analyzer is functioning properly and the manufacturer’s instructions are followed to the letter. Inaccurate results, which may adversely affect patient care, are clinically unreliable and require the attention of laboratory professionals. Laboratory professionals must recognize unreliable results, determine the possible cause(s), and be acquainted with the ways to obtain reliable results on such specimens. We present a concise overview of the known causes of unreliable automated CBC results, ways to recognize them, and means commonly utilized to obtain reliable results. Some examples of unreliable automated CBC results are also illustrated. Pertinent analyzer-specific information can be found in the manufacturers’ operating manuals.

  • Review Article2022-05-01 Diagnostic Hematology

    Myelodysplastic Syndromes with Bone Marrow Fibrosis: An Update

    Akriti G. Jain , M.D., Ling Zhang , M.D., John M. Bennett , M.D., and Rami Komrokji , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(3): 299-305

    Abstract : Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a diverse hematological malignancy with a wide spectrum of presentations and implications. Treatment strategies for patients with MDS heavily rely on prognostic scoring systems, such as the revised international prognostic scoring system (IPSS-R). Bone marrow fibrosis (BMF) has been identified as an independent risk factor for poor survival in patients with MDS, irrespective of the IPSS-R risk category. However, BMF is not widely included in scoring systems and is not always considered by clinicians when making treatment decisions for patients. In this review, we discuss the available literature about the presentation and prognosis of patients with MDS and concurrent BMF. The prognostic impact of BMF should be factored in when deciding on transplant candidacy, especially for intermediate-risk patients.

  • Original Article2022-11-01 Transfusion and Cell Therapy

    Natural Killer Cell Expansion and Cytotoxicity Differ Depending on the Culture Medium Used

    Seung Kwon Koh , B.S., Jeehun Park , Ph.D., Seong-Eun Kim , B.S., Yuree Lim , M.S., Minh-Trang Thi Phan , Ph.D., Jinho Kim , B.S., Ilwoong Hwang , M.D., Yong-Oon Ahn , Ph.D., Sue Shin , M.D., Junsang Doh , Ph.D., and Duck Cho , M.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(6): 638-649

    Abstract : Background: Adoptive cell therapy using umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived allogeneic natural killer (NK) cells has shown encouraging results. However, because of the insufficient availability of NK cells and limited UCB volume, more effective culture methods are required. NK cell expansion and functionality are largely affected by the culture medium. While human serum is a major affecting component in culture media, the way it regulates NK cell functionality remains elusive. We elucidated the effects of different culture media and human serum supplementation on UCB NK cell expansion and functionality. Methods: UCB NK cells were cultured under stimulation with K562-OX40L-mbIL-18/21 feeder cells and IL-2 and IL-15 in serum-containing and serum-free culture media. The effects of the culture media and human serum supplementation on NK cell expansion and cytotoxicity were evaluated by analyzing the expansion rate, activating and inhibitory receptor levels, and the cytotoxicity of the UCB NK cells. Results: The optimal medium for NK cell expansion was Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium/Ham’s F12 with supplements and that for cytotoxicity was AIM V supplemented with Immune Cell Serum Replacement. Shifting media is an advantageous strategy for obtaining several highly functional UCB NK cells. Live cell imaging and killing time measurement revealed that human serum enhanced NK cell proliferation but delayed target recognition, resulting in reduced cytotoxicity. Conclusions: Culture medium supplementation with human serum strongly affects UCB NK cell expansion and functionality. Thus, culture media should be carefully selected to ensure both NK cell quantity and quality for adoptive cell therapy.

  • Review Article2022-05-01 Transfusion Medicine

    Current State of Blood Management Services in Korea

    Hyun Ok Kim , M.D., Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(3): 306-313

    Abstract : Blood is lifesaving; however, it can neither be limitlessly acquired nor artificially produced. The supply and use of blood, as an invaluable biological commodity, necessitate systematic and rational management under governmental guidance to ensure safe and reliable transfusions. Despite Korea’s blood donation rate of 5.04%, which is higher than the 3.15% in high-income countries as reported by the WHO, the demand for blood exceeds the availability. This is due to the birthrate decline, dearth of young donors, and growing and aging recipient population. This review outlines the Korean blood management system, with a focus on blood service data from 2020, with the aim to delineate the current state of Korea’s blood management system and the policies established to address the imminent blood shortage. Each policy is described in detail to provide helpful information for blood management services in other countries.

  • Review Article2022-09-01 Clinical Chemistry

    Review of the Use of Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry in Clinical Laboratories: Part II–Operations

    Brian A. Rappold , B.S.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(5): 531-557

    Abstract : Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is increasingly utilized in clinical laboratories because it has advantages in terms of specificity and sensitivity over other analytical technologies. These advantages come with additional responsibilities and challenges given that many assays and platforms are not provided to laboratories as a single kit or device. The skills, staff, and assays used in LC-MS/MS are internally developed by the laboratory, with relatively few exceptions. Hence, a laboratory that deploys LC-MS/MS assays must be conscientious of the practices and procedures adopted to overcome the challenges associated with the technology. This review discusses the post-development landscape of LC-MS/MS assays, including validation, quality assurance, operations, and troubleshooting. The content knowledge of LC-MS/MS users is quite broad and deep and spans multiple scientific fields, including biology, clinical chemistry, chromatography, engineering, and MS. However, there are no formal academic programs or specific literature to train laboratory staff on the fundamentals of LC-MS/MS beyond the reports on method development. Therefore, depending on their experience level, some readers may be familiar with aspects of the laboratory practices described herein, while others may be not. This review endeavors to assemble aspects of LC-MS/MS operations in the clinical laboratory to provide a framework for the thoughtful development and execution of LC-MS/MS applications.

  • Review Article2023-01-01 Clinical Chemistry

    Calibration Practices in Clinical Mass Spectrometry: Review and Recommendations

    Wan Ling Cheng , M.Sc., Corey Markus , M.Sc., Chun Yee Lim , Ph.D., Rui Zhen Tan , Ph.D., Sunil Kumar Sethi , MBBS., and Tze Ping Loh , MB.BCh.BAO.; for the IFCC Working Group on Method Evaluation Protocols

    Ann Lab Med 2023; 43(1): 5-18

    Abstract : Background: Calibration is a critical component for the reliability, accuracy, and precision of mass spectrometry measurements. Optimal practice in the construction, evaluation, and implementation of a new calibration curve is often underappreciated. This systematic review examined how calibration practices are applied to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry measurement procedures. Methods: The electronic database PubMed was searched from the date of database inception to April 1, 2022. The search terms used were “calibration,” “mass spectrometry,” and “regression.” Twenty-one articles were identified and included in this review, following evaluation of the titles, abstracts, full text, and reference lists of the search results. Results: The use of matrix-matched calibrators and stable isotope-labeled internal standards helps to mitigate the impact of matrix effects. A higher number of calibration standards or replicate measurements improves the mapping of the detector response and hence the accuracy and precision of the regression model. Constructing a calibration curve with each analytical batch recharacterizes the instrument detector but does not reduce the actual variability. The analytical response and measurand concentrations should be considered when constructing a calibration curve, along with subsequent use of quality controls to confirm assay performance. It is important to assess the linearity of the calibration curve by using actual experimental data and appropriate statistics. The heteroscedasticity of the calibration data should be investigated, and appropriate weighting should be applied during regression modeling. Conclusions: This review provides an outline and guidance for optimal calibration practices in clinical mass spectrometry laboratories.

Annals of Laboratory Medicine
Journal Information July, 2024
Vol.44 No.4
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  • Original Article2022-03-01 Clinical Chemistry

    Biomarker Rule-in or Rule-out in Patients With Acute Diseases for Validation of Acute Kidney Injury in the Emergency Department (BRAVA): A Multicenter Study Evaluating Urinary TIMP-2/IGFBP7

    Hyun Suk Yang , M.D., Ph.D., Mina Hur , M.D., Ph.D., Kyeong Ryong Lee , M.D., Ph.D., Hanah Kim , M.D., Ph.D., Hahn Young Kim , M.D., Ph.D., Jong Won Kim , M.D., Ph.D., Mui Teng Chua , M.D., Win Sen Kuan , M.D., Horng Ruey Chua , M.D., Chagriya Kitiyakara , M.D., Phatthranit Phattharapornjaroen , M.D., Anchalee Chittamma , Ph.D., Thiyapha Werayachankul , M.Sc., Urmila Anandh , M.D., Sanjeeva Herath , M.B., Ch.B., Zoltan Endre , M.D., Ph.D., Andrea Rita Horvath , M.D., Ph.D., Paola Antonini , M.D., and Salvatore Di Somma , M.D., Ph.D. on behalf of the GREAT Network

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(2): 178-187

    Abstract : Background: Urine tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-2/insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 7 (TIMP-2/IGFBP7) (NephroCheck, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, Raritan, NJ, USA) is a US Food and Drug Administration-approved biomarker for risk assessment of acute kidney injury (AKI) in critically ill adult patients in intensive care units; however, its clinical impact in the emergency department (ED) remains unproven. We evaluated the utility of NephroCheck for predicting AKI development and short-term mortality in the ED. Methods: This was a prospective, observational, five-center international study. We consecutively enrolled ED patients admitted with ≥30% risk of AKI development (assessed by ED physician: ED score) or acute diseases. Serum creatinine was tested on ED arrival (T0), day 1, and day 2 (T48); urine for NephroCheck was collected at T0 and T48. We performed ROC curve and reclassification analyses. Results: Among the 529 patients enrolled (213 females; median age, 65 years), AKI developed in 59 (11.2%) patients. The T0 NephroCheck value was higher in the AKI group than in the non-AKI group (median 0.77 vs. 0.29 (ng/m)2/1,000, P=0.001), and better predicted AKI development than the ED score (area under the curve [AUC], 0.64 vs. 0.53; P=0.04). In reclassification analyses, adding NephroCheck to the ED score improved the prediction of AKI development (P

  • Original Article2022-03-01 Diagnostic Immunology

    Comparison of Non-Invasive Clinical Algorithms for Liver Fibrosis in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B to Reduce the Need for Liver Biopsy: Application of Enhanced Liver Fibrosis and Mac-2 Binding Protein Glycosylation Isomer

    Mina Hur , M.D., Ph.D., Mikyoung Park , M.D., Ph.D., Hee-Won Moon , M.D., Ph.D., Won Hyeok Choe , M.D., Ph.D., and Chae Hoon Lee , M.D., Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(2): 249-257

    Abstract : Background: Non-invasive clinical algorithms for the detection of liver fibrosis (LF) can reduce the need for liver biopsy (LB). We explored the implementation of two serum biomarkers, enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) and Mac-2 binding protein glycosylation isomer (M2BPGi), in clinical algorithms for LF in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. Methods: Two clinical algorithms were applied to 152 CHB patients: (1) transient elastography (TE) followed by biomarkers (TE/ELF and TE/M2GPGi); (2) biomarker test followed by TE (ELF/TE and M2BPGi/TE). Using the cut-off value or index for the detection of advanced LF (TE≥F3; 9.8 in ELF and 3.0 in M2BPGi), LB was expected to be performed in cases with discordant TE and biomarker results. Results: In both algorithms, the expected number of LBs was lower when using M2BPGi than when using ELF (TE/ELF or ELF/TE, 13.2% [N=20]; TE/M2BPGi or M2BPGi/TE, 9.9% [N=15]), although there was no statistical difference (P=0.398). In the TE low-risk group (TE≤F2), the discordance rate was significantly lower in the TE/M2BPGi approach than in the TE/ELF approach (1.5% [2/136] vs. 11.0% [15/136], P=0.002). In the biomarker low-risk group, there was no significant difference between the ELF/TE and M2BPGi/TE approaches (3.9% [5/126] vs. 8.8% [13/147], P=0.118). Conclusions: Both ELF and M2BPGi can be implemented in non-invasive clinical algorithms for assessing LF in CHB patients. Given the lowest possibility of losing advanced LF cases in the low-risk group when using the TE/M2BPGi approach, this combination seems useful in clinical practice.

  • Original Article2022-01-01 Diagnostic Immunology

    Clinical Performance of Two Automated Immunoassays, EliA CTD Screen and QUANTA Flash CTD Screen Plus, for Antinuclear Antibody Screening

    Sumi Yoon , M.D., Hee-Won Moon , M.D., Ph.D., Hanah Kim , M.D., Ph.D., Mina Hur , M.D., Ph.D., and Yeo-Min Yun , M.D., Ph.D.

    Ann Lab Med 2022; 42(1): 63-70

    Abstract : Background: Recently, two fully automated immunoassays for antinuclear antibody (ANA) screening were introduced: EliA CTD Screen (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Freiburg, Germany) and QUANTA Flash CTD Screen Plus (Inova Diagnostics, San Diego, USA). We evaluated their clinical performance in comparison with the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IIFA) and analyzed samples with discrepant results. Methods: In total, 406 serum samples (206 from patients undergoing routine checkups and 200 from rheumatology clinic patients) were assayed using EliA, QUANTA Flash, and IIFA. We evaluated assay concordance and agreement and confirmed the presence of anti-extractable nuclear antigen (ENA) antibodies in samples with discrepant automated immunoassay and IIFA results. Additionally, we compared the clinical performance of each assay in diagnosing ANA-associated rheumatic disease (AARD) and adjusted the cut-off values. Results: In rheumatology clinic samples, the concordance and agreement were 91.5% and strong between EliA and QUANTA Flash, 79.0% and weak between EliA and IIFA, and 80.5% and moderate between QUANTA Flash and IIFA, respectively. In automated immunoassay-positive, IIFA-negative samples (N=15), all anti-ENA antibodies detected (6/15) were anti-Sjögren’s syndrome antigen A/Ro (Ro60) antibodies. The automated immunoassays and IIFA showed high accuracy for diagnosing AARD, and adjusted cut-off values improved their sensitivities (EliA with 0.56 ratio, 82.9% sensitivity; QUANTA Flash with 9.7 chemiluminescent units, 87.8% sensitivity). Conclusions: The two automated immunoassays showed reliable performance compared with IIFA and can be efficiently used with the IIFA in clinical immunology laboratories. Clinical cut-off values can be adjusted according to the workflow in each laboratory.