Clinical laboratory professionals are all about bettering the analytic performance of their testing processes, and many sessions at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Philadelphia, July 31 to August 4, aim to help them do so. Here’s a brief preview of several analytics-focused presentations on tap at the meeting.

72414 Be Prepared! Sample Preparation Strategies for Multiple Matrices in the LC-MS/MS Clinical Toxicology Laboratory

In this 1.5-hour short course, you’ll sharpen your skills in sample preparation strategies for liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) based on the specimen. “We will discuss drug and metabolite patterns, distribution, and concentrations for blood, oral fluid, urine, meconium, and umbilical cord tissue,” said instructor Stephanie J. Marin, PhD, of ARUP Laboratories in Salt Lake City.

She and Christine Moore, PhD, DSc, of Immunalysis Corporation, will cover solid-phase extraction, supported liquid extraction, liquid-liquid extraction, and Quechers based on the expected interferences, the drugs and metabolites of interest, the need to hydrolyze, and the sensitivity required for each type of specimen.

Key Takeaways: “Participants will leave with a good understanding of each specimen type, the advantages and disadvantages of each for clinical testing, and the differences in concentrations of drugs and metabolites in the different specimen types for representative compounds,” said Marin. “We want participants to be able to take this information and use it to design a strategy for development of a sample preparation method for LC-MS/MS analysis based on the specimen type, and the drugs and metabolites that are present and of clinical utility.”

72221 Analytical Challenges and Clinical Controversies in Body Fluid Testing

How well do you complete method validation of body fluids? If you’re not a pro, then this 1.5-hour session is for you. Moderator Darci Block, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic will present “The Do's and Don'ts of Body Fluid Validation,” while Sutirtha Chakraborty, MBBS, MD, FACB, of Peerless Hospital in West Bengal, India, speaks on the reporting and interpretation of body fluid tests.

Key takeaways: After attending this session, you will be able to compare and contrast studies intended to validate body fluid tests; analyze the current state of body fluid testing in your lab to identify areas for improvement; and identify advisory services/consultation you can provide to clinicians regarding test selection and interpretation of body fluid analytes.

74105 Endogenous Antibody Interferences in the Chemistry Laboratory: Trouble From the Inside

It’s one of the key frustrations in any lab: interfering substances that produce inaccurate and spurious results that may lead to significant adverse effects on patient care and jeopardize the clinical credibility of a medical laboratory. So how do you prevent this from occurring?

That’s what Bernard Cook, PhD, of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and Sutirtha Chakraborty, MBBS, MD, FACB, of Peerless Hospital in West Bengal, India, will explain during their 1.5-hour session.

“Interference from monoclonal proteins have been reported in the literature since the inception of the modern-day clinical autoanalyzers,” said Chakraborty. “The key strategy for clinical laboratory specialist is to be aware of such interferences and their impact on various clinical chemistry tests.”

Key takeaways: After this session, you will be able to identify various types of endogenous antibody interferences that occur in chemistry and immunoassays; describe the impact of antibody interferences on different assays and patient care; explain the mechanisms of such interferences; and implement troubleshooting procedures to detect and control them.

34213 Addressing Pre- and Post-Analytical Issues in Developing Countries

Pre- and post-analytical errors. They’re common in all laboratories but are especially problematic in developing countries, given additional constraints and regional factors. Identifying the problems that contribute to such errors and reducing the number of errors is the focus of this session, developed in conjunction with the Asian Pacific Federation of Clinical Biochemistry (APFCB).

Three international experts, Endang Hoyaranda, DRA, of Prodia Group, Tony Badrick, PhD, of RCPA QAP, and Kiyoshi Ichihara, MD, PhD, of Yamaguchi University Graduate School of Medicine, will describe strategies used to minimize pre- and post-analytical errors, including the APFCB’s Interpretative Comments program.

Key Takeaways: Participants will be able to identify unique pre- and post-analytical problems seen in developing countries; explain how an organization like APFCB can educate laboratories and help develop solutions; and evaluate sources of variations for common lab tests, including ethnicity and geographical region-related changes. They will also be able to explain the value of an interpretative comments quality assurance program in reducing post-analytical errors, and  discuss strategies to improve phlebotomy competency.

These are just a sampling of the more than 200 sessions you’ll find at the 68th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting, not to mention numerous networking opportunities and the 2016 AACC Clinical Lab Expo, which will showcase more than 750 exhibitors. So make your plans to attend and register now.