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Am J Clin Pathol. 2010 Feb;133(2):180-6. doi: 10.1309/AJCPN5BMTSF1CDYP.

Establishing reference intervals for clinical laboratory test results: is there a better way?

Author information

1
Department of Science and Technology, Laboratory Corporation of America, Burlington, NC, USA.

Abstract

Reference intervals are essential for clinical laboratory test interpretation and patient care. Methods for estimating them are expensive, difficult to perform, often inaccurate, and nonreproducible. A computerized indirect Hoffmann method was studied for accuracy and reproducibility. The study used data collected retrospectively for 5 analytes without exclusions and filtering from a nationwide chain of clinical reference laboratories in the United States. The accuracy was assessed by the comparability of reference intervals as calculated by the new method with published peer-reviewed studies, and reproducibility was assessed by the comparability of 2 sets of reference intervals derived from 2 different data sets. There was no statistically significant difference between the calculated and published reference intervals or between the 2 sets of intervals that were derived from different data sets. A computerized Hoffmann method for indirect estimation of reference intervals using stored test results is proved to be accurate and reproducible.

PMID:
20093226
DOI:
10.1309/AJCPN5BMTSF1CDYP
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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