J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2018 Jul;28(7):560-563
Department of Chemical Pathology and Endocrinology, AFIP, National University of Medical Sciences, Rawalpindi.
Objective: To find out the use of screening and confirmatory tests for diagnosis of multiple myeloma as ordered by clinicians.
Study Design: An Audit.
Place And Duration Of Study: Department of Chemical Pathology and Endocrinology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rawalpindi, from January 2012 to January 2017.
Methodology: Data retrieved from Laboratory Information Management system (LIMs) by selecting serum protein electrophoresis (SPE) as screening test and immunoelectophoresis (IE) and immunofixation (IF) as confirmatory tests.
Results: There were 3,108 tests of serum protein electrophoesis and 1,329 tests of immunoelectophoresis had been performed in last five year. Cost-effective clinical audit of SPE tests showed that only 17.1% tests of SPE were either used for proper diagnosis of multiple myeloma (totally justified tests 13%) or useful for diagnosis of other important diseases whose early diagnosis were helpful for patients management (partially justified tests 4.1%). The cost related to these tests were justified while 82.8% tests of SPE were either normal (total unjustified tests 24.4%), or diagnosed irrevalent and nonspecific diseases (partially unjustified 58.4%). IE and IF audit revealed that only 26.6% tests were properly utilised for diagnosis and differentiation of multiple myeloma and its subtypes and cost attributable to these tests were justified while 73.4% of these confirmatory tests were normal and cost related to them was not justified.
Conclusion: Overutilisation of laboratory tests for diagnosis of multiple myeloma can be minimised by proper clinical scrutiny of request forms.