- A recent lactate dehydrogenase (LD) survey of the Laboratory Proficiency Testing Program (LPTP) of Ontario showed interlaboratory coefficients of variation ranging from 6.5% to 40% for five lyophilized vials on the 12 Kodak analyzers. All the LPTP survey samples had similar protein and LD isoenzyme electrophoretic patterns which remained unchanged after reconstitution and storage for 5 days at 4 degrees C, although the total LD activities fell. Four Ektachem 700 analyzers were subsequently tested using LPTP material and no difference in LD activity between instruments or between two LD slide lot numbers was shown. Generation 9 slides gave higher LD activities than generation 10 on all the reconstituted lyophilized proficiency testing samples. There was no significant difference between slide generations when 19 liquid human sera were analyzed, indicating that the variability on LPTP samples was due to a matrix effect. Definition of the matrix effect of lyophilized proficiency testing material is essential before any proficiency testing program can use such material to reflect analytical performance on patient specimens.