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Eur J Clin Chem Clin Biochem. 1997 Nov;35(11):845-52.

Intra- and inter-individual biological variability data bank.

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Servei de Bioquímica Clínica, Ciutat Sanitària i Universitària de Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.


Different results are usually observed when a quantity is measured in different specimens from the same individual obtained over a time span. For an individual, this variation is due to the imprecision of the measurement procedure, that is to say the metrological variability, as well as to the rhythmic and random fluctuations of the quantity value around a virtual homeostatic set point, that is to say the intra-individual biological variability. On the other hand, when studying the intra-individual biological variation of a quantity a mean value, the virtual homeostatic set point, is estimated for each individual participating in the study. The variation among these mean values is due to the inter-individual biological variability.

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