Interlaboratory comparison of red-cell ATP, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate and haemolysis measurements

John R. Hess, L. R. Kagen, P. F. Van Der Meer, T. Simon, R. Cardigan, T. J. Greenwalt, J. P. AuBuchon, A. Brand, W. Lockwood, A. Zanella, J. Adamson, E. Snyder, H. L. Taylor, G. Moroff, C. Hogman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background and Objectives: Red blood cell (RBC) storage systems are licensed based on their ability to prevent haemolysis and maintain RBC 24-h in vivo recovery. Preclinical testing includes measurement of RBC ATP as a surrogate for recovery, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (DPG) as a surrogate for oxygen affinity, and free haemoglobin, which is indicative of red cell lysis. The reproducibility of RBC ATP, DPG and haemolysis measurements between centres was investigated. Materials and Methods: Five, 4-day-old leucoreduced AS-1 RBC units were pooled, aliquotted and shipped on ice to 14 laboratories in the USA and European Union (EU). Each laboratory was to sample the bag twice on day 7 and measure RBC ATP, DPG, haemoglobin and haemolysis levels in triplicate on each sample. The variability of results was assessed by using coefficients of variation (CV) and analysis of variance. Results: Measurements were highly reproducible at the individual sites. Between sites, the CV was 16% for ATP, 35% for DPG, 2% for total haemoglobin and 54% for haemolysis. For ATP and total haemoglobin, 94 and 80% of the variance in measurements was contributed by differences between sites, and more than 80% of the variance for DPG and haemolysis measurements came from markedly discordant results from three sites and one site, respectively. In descending order, mathematical errors, unvalidated analytical methods, a lack of shared standards and fluid handling errors contributed to the variability in measurements from different sites. Conclusions: While the methods used by laboratories engaged in RBC storage system clinical trials demonstrated good precision, differences in results between laboratories may hinder comparative analysis. Efforts to improve performance should focus on developing robust methods, especially for measuring RBC ATP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-48
Number of pages5
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005



  • Erythrocyte storage
  • ICSH methods
  • Shared-sample comparisons
  • Sources of assay variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

Cite this

Hess, J. R., Kagen, L. R., Van Der Meer, P. F., Simon, T., Cardigan, R., Greenwalt, T. J., AuBuchon, J. P., Brand, A., Lockwood, W., Zanella, A., Adamson, J., Snyder, E., Taylor, H. L., Moroff, G., & Hogman, C. (2005). Interlaboratory comparison of red-cell ATP, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate and haemolysis measurements. Vox Sanguinis, 89(1), 44-48.