EQUIP: a worldwide program to ensure the quality of urinary iodine procedures
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In 2001 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established a program, Ensuring the Quality of Urinary Iodine Procedures (EQUIP); to assist laboratories around the world and assess the accuracy of their urinary iodine (UI). CDC designed EQUIP to issue unknown specimens to participating laboratories three times per year. Each laboratory was asked to analyze unknown samples in duplicate on three different days. During the first five rounds of EQUIP, 41 laboratories participated, measuring unknown samples and reporting their results to CDC. CDC used these results to prepare a statistical report for the laboratories. Feedback to the laboratories provided external confirmation regarding performance. As a group, laboratory performance improved; several laboratories made considerable improvement. Several laboratories that showed no improvement have ordered new equipment or are arranging for additional training. EQUIP is a key tool used to support laboratory quality assurance in an effort to eliminate iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) in the world.
KeywordsUrinary iodine Iodine deficiency disorders Laboratory testing ICP-MS Laboratory proficiency Laboratory methods
The authors would like to recognize and thank the following scientists for their work and collaboration on this project: EQUIP collaborators: (1) Australia, Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research: Dr Gary Ma, PhD; (2) Australia, Royal North Shore Hospital: Dr Graham Hams; (3) Belgium, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Pierre: Dr Daniela Gnat, PhD; (4) Bulgaria, National Centre of Hygiene, Medical Ecology and Nutrition Centre: Dr Ludmila Ivanova, MD, PhD; (5) Cameroon, National Nutrition Centre: Prof Daniel Lantum, MD, PhD; (6) China, Iodine Reference Laboratory: Dr Li Sumei; (7) China, Tianjin Medical University: Prof Chen Zu-Pei, PhD; (8) Ghana, University of Ghana: Mr Asibey Berco; (9) Guatemala, Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory: Drs Omar Dary, PhD, and Carolina Martinez, PhD; (10) India, All India Institute of Medical Sciences: Dr Chandrakant Pandav, PhD; (11) Indonesia, Laboratorium Biotechnology (GAKY) Diponegoro Medic: Dr Rachmawati Banundari, MD; (12) Indonesia, Nutrition Research and Development Center MOH: Dr Susilowati Herman, PhD; (13) Italy, Pediatric University: Dr Anna Rapa; (14) Japan, Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd.: Toshinori Ohashi; (15) Kazakhstan, The Kazakh Nutrition Institute: Mrs Feruza Ospanova; (16) Mongolia, Public Health Institute: Dr Ts. Enkhjargal, PhD; (17) New Zealand, Auckland Healthcare Services: Mr Roger Johnson; (18) Peru, Food and Nutrition Centre: Dr Luisa Kuraiwa, PhD; (19) Philippines, Food and Nutrition Research Institute: Ms. Juanita Madriaga; (20) Peru, Cayetano Heredia Peruvian University: Dr Eduardo Pretell, PhD; (21) Russia, Institute of Endocrinology: Dr Alexander Ilin, MD; (22) Serbia, Institute of Public Health of Serbia: Dr Danica Djarmati, PhD; (23) South Africa, IDD Group MRC: Dr Pieter Jooste, PhD; (24) South Africa, University of Stellenosch: Prof Demetre Labadarios; (25) Switzerland, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology: Dr Michael Zimmermann, PhD; (26) Tanzania, Food and Nutrition Centre: Mr Vincent Assay; (27) Thailand, Institute of Nutrition & Mahidol University: Dr Visith Chavasit, PhD; (28) Thailand, Ministry of Public Health, Division of Nutrition: Mrs Nunthaya Chongehaithet; (29) Thailand, Ramathibodi Hospital: Mr Arporn Sriphrapradang; (30) Thailand, Research Institute for Health Sciences: Dr Sakda Pruenglampoo, PhD; (31) Ukraine, Institute of Endocrinology & Metabolism: Dr Victor Kravchenko, PhD; (32) United States, Boston Medical Centre: Mr Sam Pino; (33) United States, Mayo Clinic: Mr John Butz; (34) Uzbekistan, Scientific Research Institute of Pediatrics: Prof Dilbar Makhmudova, MD; (35) Uzbekistan, The Institute of Endocrinology: Prof Larisa Nugmanova; (36) Venezuela, Universidad de Los andes: Dr Guillermo Bianchi, MD; and (37) Zimbabwe, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare: Mrs Theodora Nyamandi. This project could not have been accomplished without their assistance and that of the laboratories, institutions, and countries represented. We also want to thank Dr Christine Pfeiffer, PhD, Tracy Dearth-Wesley MPH, Jeff Lauterbach, and Michael Kinzer MPH of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their consultation and roles in the day to day development and activities of the program.
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