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Enhancing the accuracy of measurement of small molecule organic biomarkers


Over two decades, the Organic Analysis Working Group (OAWG) of the Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance: Metrology in Chemistry and Biology (CCQM) has organized a number of comparisons for clinically relevant small molecule organic biomarkers. The aim of the OAWG community is to be part of the coordinated international movement towards accuracy and comparability of clinical measurements that will, in turn, minimize the wastage of repeat testing and unnecessary therapy to create a sustainable healthcare industry. International and regional directives/requirements on metrological traceability of calibrators and control materials are in place. Metrology institutes worldwide maintain infrastructure for the practical realization of metrological traceability and demonstrate the equivalence of their measurement capabilities through participation in key comparisons organized under the auspices of the CCQM. These institutes provide certified reference materials, as well as other dedicated value-assignment services benefiting the in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) industry, reference (calibration) laboratories and the clinical chemistry laboratories. The roles of these services in supporting national, regional, and international activities to ensure the metrological traceability of clinical chemistry measurements are described.

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International Bureau of Weights and Measures


Consultative Committee for Amount of Substance: Metrology in Chemistry and Biology


International Committee for Weights and Measures


certified reference material


Dried Blood Spot


Vitamin D External Quality Assessment Scheme


Designated Institute


External Quality Assurance Programmes in Laboratory Medicine


European Association of National Metrology Institutes


External Quality Assessment Schemes


International Consortium for Harmonization of Clinical Laboratory Results


Isotope dilution-mass spectrometry


International Measurement Evaluation Programme


International Federation for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine


International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation


International Organization for Standardization


In-vitro diagnostic


Joint Committee for Traceability in Laboratory Medicine


Mutual Recognition Arrangement


National Metrology Institute


Organic Analysis Working Group


Reference measurement procedures


International System of Units


Proficiency testing


Royal Australasian College of Pathologists Quality Assurance Programs


Standard Reference Material®


Vitamin D Standardization Program


Vitamin D Metabolites Quality Assurance Program


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The authors thank all colleagues involved in the organization and participation of the CCQM pilot studies and key comparisons for small molecule organic biomarkers over the past two decades. HSA acknowledges the contributions by Lingkai Wong, Yizhao Chen, Hong Liu, and Hui Ling Teo. NIST acknowledges the contributions by Lorna Sniegoski, Michael J. Welch, Susan S.-C. Tai, Jeanita Pritchett, Karen W. Phinney and David L. Duewer, as well as Steven A. Wise and Christopher T. Sempos in collaboration with and financial support from the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. NMIA acknowledges the contributions by Stephen Davies, Veronica Vamathevan, Mark Lewin, Lesley Johnston, Meg Croft, and Edwin J Murby. LNE acknowledges the contributions by Catherine Perrot, Maryline Peignaux, Carine Fallot, Julie Cabillic, and Gustavo Martos. KRISS acknowledges the contributions by Byungjoo Kim, Inchul Yang, Dukjin Kang, and Hwashim Lee. NIMT acknowledges the contributions by Cheerapa Boonyakong, Charun Yafa, and the Thailand Creatinine Standardization Working Group. INMETRO acknowledges the contributions by Bruno C. Garrido, Eliane C.P. Rego and Jane L. N. Fernandes.

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Correspondence to Tang Lin Teo.

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Teo, T.L., Lippa, K.A., Mackay, L. et al. Enhancing the accuracy of measurement of small molecule organic biomarkers. Anal Bioanal Chem 411, 7341–7355 (2019).

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  • Biomarker
  • Clinical measurements
  • Metrological traceability
  • Certified reference materials (CRMs)
  • Pilot studies and key comparisons
  • External quality assessment schemes (EQAS)