Society Letters

Letter to Congress to Improve Pediatric Reference Ranges

July 19, 2019

"When making a diagnosis, the pediatrician evaluates a laboratory test value within the context of a reference interval – a range of numeric values that would be expected in a healthy child. If the test result falls outside of the reference interval – either higher or lower – the pediatrician may order a medical intervention to address the condition. If the diagnosis is mistaken for any reason, including a faulty reference interval, the result could be harmful for the young patient. Therefore, it is critical that reference intervals be correct. Whereas reference intervals for adults are generally reliable, there is considerable inconsistency and large gaps in the ranges provided for children..."

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