Evaluating new HbA1c methods for adoption by the IFCC and NGSP reference networks using international quality targets

Erna Lenters-Westra (Lead Author), Emma English

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Background: As a reference laboratory for HbA1c, it is essential to have accurate and precise HbA1c methods covering a range of measurement principles. We report an evaluation of the Abbott Enzymatic (Architect c4000), Roche Gen.3 HbA1c (Cobas c513) and Tosoh G11 using different quality targets.

Methods: The effect of hemoglobin variants, other potential interferences and the performance in comparison to both the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC) and the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) reference systems was assessed using certified evaluation protocols.

Results: Each of the evaluated HbA1c methods had CVs <3% in SI units and <2% in NGSP units at 46 mmol/mol (6.4%) and 72 mmol/mol (8.7%) and passed the NGSP criteria when compared with six secondary reference measurement procedures (SRMPs). Sigma was 8.6 for Abbott Enzymatic, 3.3 for Roche Cobas c513 and 6.9 for Tosoh G11. No clinically significant interference was detected for the common Hb variants for the three methods.

Conclusions: All three methods performed well and are suitable for clinical application in the analysis of HbA1c. Partly based on the result of this study, the Abbott Enzymatic method on the Architect c4000 and the Roche Gen.3 HbA1c on the Cobas c513 are now official, certified IFCC and NGSP SRMPs in the IFCC and NGSP networks. Sigma metrics quality criteria presented in a graph distinguish between good and excellent performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1434
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number9
Early online date22 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • HbA1c
  • sigma metrics
  • IFCC
  • diabetes
  • method evaluation

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