The Core adheres to a rigorous set of quality control guidelines for turn-around of data, trouble-shooting and other defined parameters for daily monitoring of all assays. Control samples are included in each assay and intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variations (as recorded in the next table) are monitored closely. Monitored control samples include both internal and external samples. The core also participates in a quarterly catecholamine survey with Washington University, University of Colorado Science Center, Yale, and the Brigham's Women's Hospital. Results are compared from three different methodologies used among these institutions. Unknowns are also received from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and compared against other labs on a quarterly basis.
Lipid analyses require standards for colorimetric assays of triglycerides and cholesterol to be prepared by procedures outlined in the Lipid Reference Section of the Center for Disease Control. For Gas chromatographic analyses of fatty acids, the absolute and relative response factors for the instrument and particular column are determined and used in quantification of individual fatty acids. In addition, pooled serum samples are maintained for quality control of assays of triglycerides, cholesterols, and fatty acids.
Assays for isoprostanes and other eicosanoids are performed in batches. As a part of the assay procedure, a blank and a control sample containing a known amount of isoprostanes are routinely assayed with each batch. Inter- and intra-day variabilities of each assay are monitored carefully and documented.