An evaluation of analytic goals for assays of drugs: A college of American pathologists therapeutic drug monitoring survey study

B. W. Steele, E. Wang, G. E. Palomaki, G. G. Klee, R. J. Elin, S. J. Soldin, D. L. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective. - To determine if the levels of imprecision of the commonly used analytic methods for drug measurements are suitable for long-term therapeutic drug monitoring. Design. - In 1996, 4 identical lyophilized samples (2 in the first mailing and 2 in the second mailing 4 months later) were sent to laboratories participating in a nationwide proficiency testing program. Similarly, in 1999, replicates from a liquid pool of spiked sera were mailed 3 times, 4 months apart, to participating laboratories. For each of 11 drugs regulated under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 and 1 metabolite, the total variance for each method was partitioned into within-and between-laboratory components. The total within-laboratory and the total survey coefficients of variation (CVs) for each method were then compared with the "acceptable" precision criteria of Glick, Burnett, and Fraser for each drug. Setting. - The first 2 mailings of the College of American Pathologists Therapeutic Drug Monitoring surveys for 1996, sets Z and ZM, and the 3 mailings of 1999, sets ZM, Z, and Z2. Main Outcome Measures. - For each drug studied, the CV of each method was compared with the various imprecision criteria, and if greater than any of the criteria, the method was then tabulated as not meeting that specific criterion. Participants. - The approximately 5000 participants of the survey. Results. - The number of methods deemed as not having acceptable total long-term within-laboratory precision by the various criteria ranged from 35% to 88% in 1996 and from 22% to 77% in 1999. Conclusion. - The number of failures possibly indicates that many of the reagent assays being utilized are not precise enough for long-term therapeutic drug monitoring of chronically administered drugs or that the published criteria used to evaluate the data in this study are too stringent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)729-735
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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