Quality of samples matters


Molecular in vitro diagnostics has enabled significant progress in medici­ne. Further progress is expec­ted through new technologies analysing signatures of nucleic acids, proteins, and metaboli­tes in human tissues and body fluids. However, the profiles of these molecules can chan­ge drastically during primary sample collection, transport, storage, and processing, thus making the outcome of diagno­stics or research unreliable or even impossible, because the subsequent analytical test will not determine the situation in the patient but an artificial profile generated during the pre-analytical workflow.

The­refore, the standardisation of the entire diagnostic workflow from sample collection to ana­lyte measurement is needed (sample-to-insight workflows) to ensure the reproducibility of results and thus improve the clinical decisions and the healthcare systems.

Pre-analytical errors still account for nearly 60% – 70% of all problems occurring in laboratory diagnostics, most of them attributable to mishandling procedures during collection, handling, preparing or storing the specimens.


Lippi G. et al. Pre-analytical quality improvement: from dream to reality. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2011 Jul; 49(7):1113-26.