Multiple-laboratory comparison of microarray platforms

Nat Methods. 2005 May;2(5):345-50. doi: 10.1038/nmeth756. Epub 2005 Apr 21.


Microarray technology is a powerful tool for measuring RNA expression for thousands of genes at once. Various studies have been published comparing competing platforms with mixed results: some find agreement, others do not. As the number of researchers starting to use microarrays and the number of cross-platform meta-analysis studies rapidly increases, appropriate platform assessments become more important. Here we present results from a comparison study that offers important improvements over those previously described in the literature. In particular, we noticed that none of the previously published papers consider differences between labs. For this study, a consortium of ten laboratories from the Washington, DC-Baltimore, USA, area was formed to compare data obtained from three widely used platforms using identical RNA samples. We used appropriate statistical analysis to demonstrate that there are relatively large differences in data obtained in labs using the same platform, but that the results from the best-performing labs agree rather well.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Baltimore
  • District of Columbia
  • Gene Expression Profiling / standards
  • Humans
  • Laboratories / standards
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results