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Nationwide replacement of High-Volume Chemistry analyzers: Immunoassays in Ontario

October 12 2022
We are pleased to share an update on our fall and winter plans to gradually replace the Roche Cobas and Abbott Architect analyzers used nationally for chemistry testing.

Dear health care providers,

We are pleased to share an update on our fall and winter plans to gradually replace the Roche Cobas and Abbott Architect analyzers used nationally for chemistry testing.  The testing performed on these analyzers includes clinical chemistry, immunoassays, and infectious disease (serology) assays at LifeLabs sites in Ontario. We are moving to the Abbott Alinity testing platform for these assays.

The first phase of this process took place in August 2022 with the move of Hepatitis and Rubella serology tests to the new Abbott Alinity i platform.

In the second phase, a number of immunoassays will transition to the Abbott Alinity i platform between October 24th, 2022 and November 30th, 2022Table 1 on page 2 provides a list of immunoassay tests that will be moving to the new testing platform, along with a description of notable changes.

Method validations were performed for all the immunoassays (noted in the Table below) at LifeLabs to ensure the assays meet our clinical requirements. The test results on the new analyzers compare well with our current platform.  A temporary notification will be included with all test results indicating a change in testing platform and highlighting any other significant changes (as applicable and described in Table 1 on page 2). This notification will be provided for 3 months from the date of implementation. Please note, minor updates to interpretive comments for some of the tests will also be implemented to align with current clinical guidelines and improve interpretation of laboratory results.

We will update you on additional changes impacting the LifeLabs chemistry testing as we get closer to the next phase of implementation in early 2023. For any clinical or technical questions regarding this change please contact the following LifeLabs biochemists:

Dr. Uvaraj Uddayasankar, PhD FCACB

Clinical Biochemist                      

T   416-675-4530 Ext. 42211


Dr. Kika Veljkovic, PhD FCACB

Discipline Head, High Volume Chemistry

T   416-675-4530 Ext. 42832


Thank you,

Dr. Catherine Ross, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Medical Director, ON

T   647-943-2413 Ext: 42980


Table 1. Tests that are being transferred to the Abbott Alinity i platform in October 2022:


Description of test change


Interpretive comments have been updated to reflect current guidelines on chronic heart failure.

Cortisol (Random, AM, PM)

Reference intervals have been changed to reflect current practice guidelines.


The test code for Estradiol (IVF) is no longer relevant and has been discontinued. There are no changes to the current testing protocols or interpretation.


Reference intervals have been updated to reflect recent practice guidelines.

The low limit of the reference intervals has been changed to reflect the diagnostic cut-off for iron deficiency and results will be flagged when they are below this limit. In addition, an interpretive aid is provided with all results indicating cut-offs for borderline iron deficiency in addition to diagnostic cut-off (derived from the WHO recommendations for iron deficiency).


No change


Reference intervals are unchanged, with homocysteine results expected to be an average of 2 µmol/L lower than previous values.

In addition, a comment has been added for patients ≤ 18 years of age to aid in assay interpretation in the absence of an established reference interval for this age group.


No change


No change


Reference intervals are unchanged except for the post-menopausal stage reference interval, which was updated based on studies by Abbott Diagnostics.


No change

Monomeric Prolactin (Macroprolactin)

No change

T3 free

No change

T3 total

No change

T4 free

No change


No change

Vitamin B12

Reference interval is unchanged, but a comment including common diagnostic cut-offs has been added to enhance interpretation of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

25OH Vit D

No change

Total PSA

No change

Free PSA (PSA Ratio)

No change





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