Purpose:The College of American Pathologists offers blinded proficiency testing (PT) for laboratories performing HFE genetic tests for hereditary hemochromatosis (common C282Y and H63D variants). This study used 10 years of PT data to determine laboratory performance for HFE analytical genotyping and clinical interpretation.Methods:Laboratories were graded for accuracy of genotype determination (six possible C282Y/H63D genotypes) and clinical interpretation regarding whether the genotype was likely to have contributed to iron overload in a hypothetical patient.Results:The analytical genotyping error rate was low (0.73%) in 7,663 results (from 257 unique laboratories). Genotyping errors were significantly higher in C282Y heterozygous, H63D homozygous, and C282Y homozygous samples, in non-American laboratories, and in laboratories with lower testing volume. Analytical sensitivity and specificity were >98.5 and >99.5%. The interpretive error rate (4.3%) was higher than the genotyping error rate, with two problematic genotypes (C282Y heterozygous and H63D homozygous) accounting for 77% of total interpretive errors. There was a time-dependent improvement in the interpretation of the clinical significance of HFE genotypes.Conclusions:HFE molecular genetic testing, performed by non-US Food and Drug Administration-approved laboratory-developed tests, demonstrated excellent accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. Clinical interpretations were more heterogeneous, probably owing to the low clinical penetrance of some common HFE genotypes.
- Diagnostic errors
- genetic testing
- laboratory proficiency testing
ASJC Scopus subject areas