Biological variation (BV) data have many fundamental applications in laboratory medicine. At the 1st Strategic Conference of the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM) the reliability and limitations of current BV data were discussed. The EFLM Working Group on Biological Variation is working to increase the quality of BV data by developing a European project to establish a biobank of samples from healthy subjects to be used to produce high quality BV data. The project involved six European laboratories (Milan, Italy; Bergen, Norway; Madrid, Spain; Padua, Italy; Istanbul, Turkey; Assen, The Netherlands). Blood samples were collected from 97 volunteers (44 men, aged 20-60 years; 43 women, aged 20-50 years; 10 women, aged 55-69 years). Initial subject inclusion required that participants completed an enrolment questionnaire to verify their health status. The volunteers provided blood specimens once per week for 10 weeks. A short questionnaire was completed and some laboratory tests were performed at each sampling consisting of blood collected under controlled conditions to provide serum, K2EDTA-plasma and citrated-plasma samples. Samples from six out of the 97 enroled subjects were discarded as a consequence of abnormal laboratory measurements. A biobank of 18,000 aliquots was established consisting of 120 aliquots of serum, 40 of EDTA-plasma, and 40 of citrated-plasma from each subject. The samples were stored at -80 °C. A biobank of well-characterised samples collected under controlled conditions has been established delivering a European resource to enable production of contemporary BV data.
- Biological variation
- Preanalytical phase