* Interference occurs when a substance or process falsely alters an assay result. * Interferences are classified as endogenous or exogenous. Endogenous interference originates from substances present in the patient's own specimen. Exogenous interferences are substances introduced into the patient's specimen. * To perform interference studies, proper planning is required. * Interference from haemolysis, icterus and lipaemia are most frequently studied. Haemolysis affects more analytes than does any other type of interference. * Protein interferences are most often associated with paraproteins and predominantly with IgM or IgG and rarely with IgA. * Drug interference may be due to the parent drug, metabolite(s) or additives in the drug preparation. * Collection tube components can affect determination of analytes. * Carryover interference typically occurs when analyte from a high concentration sample (or reagent) is incompletely removed by the analytical system's washing process, whether probe, mixer or cuvette washing. * Immunoassay interferences are most commonly due to antibodies (generally polyclonal). They may be autoantibodies (e.g. in thyroid disease) or heterophile antibodies that predominantly interfere in two-site immunometric (sandwich) assays, forming a bridge between capture and detection antibodies. * Determining if interference is significant requires deviation limits from the original result. * Once interferences are identified during method evaluation or in general use, there is a need to establish procedures for handling affected results as part of the quality system.