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Evaluation of a Common Internal Standard Material to Reduce Inter-Laboratory Variation and Ensure the Quality, Safety and Efficacy of Expanded Newborn Screening Results When Using Flow Injection Analysis Tandem Mass Spectrometry with Internal Calibration

Published: 19 November 2020
 by  MDPI AG
International Journal of Neonatal Screening , Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040092

Abstract: In 2015, the newborn screening (NBS) programmes in England and Wales were expanded to include four additional disorders: Classical Homocystinuria, Isovaleric Acidemia, Glutaric Aciduria Type 1 and Maple Syrup Urine Disease, bringing the total number of analytes quantified to eight: phenylalanine, tyrosine, leucine, methionine, isovalerylcarnitine, glutarylcarnitine, octanoylcarnitine and decanoylcarnitine. Post-implementation, population data monitoring showed that inter-laboratory variation was greater than expected, with 90th centiles varying from 17 to 59%. We evaluated the effect of stable isotope internal standard (IS) used for quantitation on inter-laboratory variation. Four laboratories analysed routine screening samples (n > 101,820) using a common IS. Inter-laboratory variation was determined for the eight analytes and compared with results obtained using an in-house common IS (n > 102,194). A linear mixed-effects model was fitted to the data. Using a common IS mix reduced the inter-laboratory variation significantly (p < 0.05) for five analytes. For three analytes, the lack of significance was explained by use of individual laboratory “calibration factors”. For screening programmes where laboratories adhere to single analyte cut-off values (COVs), it is important that inter-laboratory variation is minimised, primarily to prevent false positive results. Whilst the use of a common IS helps achieve this, it is evident that instrument set-up also contributes to inter-laboratory variation.
Keywords: internal calibration / Isotope dilution / Dried blood spots / Expanded Screening / Inter-laboratory Variation / flow injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry

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