An Italian External Quality Assessment (EQA) program on urinary sediment

Giovanni B. Fogazzi, Sandra Secchiero, Dario Consonni, Laura Sciacovelli, Lorena Zardo, Giuseppe Garigali, Simona Verdesca, Piergiorgio Messa, Mario Plebani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: EQA programs on urinary sediment are rare. We describe an EQA Italian program which started in 2001 and involves today more than 300 laboratories. Methods: The program, which started with a questionnaire about the methodological aspects on urinary sediment, includes today four surveys per year. These ask the participants the identification and clinical associations of urinary sediment particles shown by colour images (surveys 1 and 3) and the diagnosis of clinical cases presented by both images and a short clinical history (surveys 2 and 4). The results of each survey are then scored and commented. Results: Questionnaire (participants = 287): most methodological aspects were not dealt with properly. Identification: cells, lipids, casts and some contaminants were poorly known. However, when 27 particles were presented for the second time and 16 particles for the third time, the correct identification rate for most of them increased significantly. Clinical associations (No presented = 16): a correct answer was indicated by ≥. 84% of participants for all particles but one. Clinical cases (No presented = 4): lowest correct identification for urine contamination from genital secretion (77.3%), highest for ureteric stone (94.4%). Conclusions: Our program shows that EQA programs are both useful and needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • External Quality Assessment programs
  • Urinalysis
  • Urinary sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Medicine(all)


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