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. 2008 Apr;28(2):124-9.
doi: 10.3343/kjlm.2008.28.2.124.

[Current Status of Serum Allergen Tests in Korea]

[Article in Korean]
Free article

[Current Status of Serum Allergen Tests in Korea]

[Article in Korean]
Hwan Sub Lim et al. Korean J Lab Med. .
Free article


Background: Due to the westernization of living environments in Korea, a number of allergy patients are greatly increasing. External quality control assessments are difficult for allergy tests due to the lack of reference methods. We surveyed the current status of allergy tests performed in medical laboratories in Korea to prepare for an external quality control assessment in the near future.

Methods: We conducted a survey on internal and external quality control trials, calibrations and its intervals, medical staffs, analyzers in use, an average number of tests per months, and report formats.

Results: Among the 85 laboratories surveyed, 61 were doing allergy tests including 6 reference laboratories. There were two different types of analyzers (1) qualitative or semi-quantitative and (2) quantitative. These analyzers use either chemiluminescent or immunoblot method. Fifty-five laboratories were using 'qualitative or semi-quantitative' analyzers as a screening test and 31 laboratories were using quantitative analyzers. Most of the laboratories were only doing an internal quality control assessment included in the test kits. Excepting a few laboratories, calibrations were not done. About 34 laboratories reported numerical values with interpretative reports prepared by laboratory medical doctors.

Conclusions: The necessity of external quality control assessment has become an issue for improving the quality of allergy tests. But due to the lack of standardization, it is difficult to carry out external quality control assessments. By grouping the laboratories in terms of the type of analyzers, we could overcome the problem of analyzer variations and launch an external quality control assessment program in the near future.

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