Reference values and reference intervals
Gräsbeck, Ralph Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research, Biomedicum Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
- Terminology and definitions
- Common mistakes
- Reference individuals
- Specimen collection and its analysis
- Observed values in relation to reference values
- Decision limits
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Results of clinical laboratory tests and other observations are interpreted by comparing them with reference values obtained from relevant individuals whose state of health is known. Instead of reporting numerous reference values, they are usually subjected to statistical analysis, followed by cutting off the extremes of the distribution by setting reference limits and reporting a reference interval containing a stated proportion (often the central 95%) of the reference values.
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