To identify the main critical issues of the Italian laboratories dedicated to neuroimmunological diagnostics, the Italian Association of Neuroimmunology (AINI) organizes an external quality control (External Quality Assessment Scheme, EQAS) from various sources. The principle of EQAS is to have a coordinating laboratory circulate several samples to be tested on different laboratory tests that cover the main areas of neuroimmunological diagnostics. Through the concordance or discordance of the results, it is then possible to identify:
- The performance level of each individual laboratory
- The level of standardization of specific diagnostic areas
- Any reasons that may explain the poor standardization, such as using different tests with sub-optimal performances or the presence of interpretative difficulties of specific tests.
In the past, the information obtained from EQAS led to the drafting of Italian guidelines on neuroimmunological diagnostics, which supported laboratories in choosing the procedures to follow to improve the quality of services.