Quality control technique to reduce the variability of longitudinal measurement of hemoglobin mass

Claire Gough, K Sharpe, M Ashenden, Judith Anson, Philo Saunders, Laura Garvican, Darrell Bonetti, Christopher Gore, N Prommer

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    18 Citations (Scopus)


    The sensitivity of the athlete blood passport to detect blood doping may be improved by the inclusion of total hemoglobin mass (Hb mass), but the comparability of Hb mass from different laboratories is unknown. To optimize detection sensitivity, the analytical variability associated with Hb mass measurement must be minimized. The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of using quality controls to minimize the variation in Hb mass between laboratories. Three simulated laboratories were set up in one location. Nine participants completed three carbon monoxide (CO) re-breathing tests in each laboratory. One participant completed two CO re-breathing tests in each laboratory. Simultaneously, quality controls containing Low (1-3%) and High (8-11%) concentrations of percent carboxyhemoglobin (%HbCO) were measured to compare hemoximeters in each laboratory. Linear mixed modeling was used to estimate the within-subject variation in Hb mass, expressed as the coefficient of variation, and to estimate the effect of different laboratories. The analytic variation of Hb mass was 2.4% when tests were conducted in different laboratories, which reduced to 1.6% when the model accounted for between-laboratory differences. Adjustment of Hb mass values using quality controls achieved a comparable analytic variation of 1.7%. The majority of between-laboratory variation in Hb mass originated from the difference between hemoximeters, which could be eliminated using appropriate quality controls.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e365-e371
    Number of pages7
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Analytical error
    • Autologous
    • CO oximeter
    • Hematological passport
    • OSM3 analyzer


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