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Reference Ranges and What They Mean

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NOTE: This article is based on research that utilizes the sources cited here as well as the collective experience of the Lab Tests Online Editorial Review Board. This article is periodically reviewed by the Editorial Board and may be updated as a result of the review. Any new sources cited will be added to the list and distinguished from the original sources used.


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National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards. How to Define and Determine Reference Intervals in the Clinical Laboratory: Approved Guideline. 2nd ed. Wayne, PA: 2000.

Sacher RA, McPherson RA, Campos J. Widmann's Clinical Interpretation of Laboratory Tests. 11th ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company; 2000:10-17.

The Science of Laboratory Diagnosis. Crocker J and Burnett D, eds. Oxford: Isis Medical Media; 1998: 391-4.

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry. Burtis CA and Ashwood ER, eds. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company; 1994: 454-464.

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. Burtis CA, Ashwood ER, Bruns DE, eds. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders; 2006. Pp. 425-437.

McClatchey, et al. Clinical Laboratory Medicine. Second Edition.

Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, Fourth Edition.


Roberta Reed, PhD, Mary Imogene Bassett Hosp., Cooperstown, NY, (by Eric Seaborg), 6/7/01.

David Sundwall, MD, President of the American Clinical Laboratory Association, Washington, DC (by Eric Seaborg), 6/7/01.

Pennell Painter, PhD, Professor of Pathology, Technical Director of the Dynacare Tennessee Medical Laboratories at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville (by Jason Kahn).


National Cholesterol Education Program website, available online through

Cornell University Veterinary School website, available online through

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