Results of an External Proficiency Testing Exercise on Platelet Dense-Granule Deficiency Testing by Whole Mount Electron Microscopy
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Performance on specialized diagnostic tests for platelet disorders, including dense-granule deficiency, is rarely evaluated by external quality assessment (EQA). Members of the North American Specialized Coagulation Laboratory Association that evaluate platelet dense-granule deficiency commonly use whole-mount electron microscopy (EM) methods. This observation led us to develop a pilot EQA survey with standardized EM images and clinical samples on grids from a healthy control subject and a subject with dense-granule deficiency. The survey participants were 8 centers, including 2 with no experience in platelet whole mount EM. All participants, including inexperienced sites, correctly interpreted findings for the normal and dense-granule-deficient platelets. Among experienced sites, agreement was excellent (>82%) on platelet structures to count or not count as dense granules. Participants indicated that future EQA challenges should include clinical samples on grids and standardized images. This is the first report that platelet EM can be assessed by EQA.
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