Like many areas in medicine, clinical laboratory or pathology testing often provides few simple answers to commonly asked questions. The issues - on reliability of the tests and reference ranges - can be very complex. While we can't offer the kinds of short, easy answers that we seem to be accustomed to in this information age, we have attempted, in the following articles, to break down the issues in a way that will help you to ask the appropriate questions of your doctor.
Introduction to anatomical pathology providing explanations for histopathology and cytopathology reviewing the different techniques and instrumentation used for the examination of tissue specimens.
Overview of blood banking, including donating blood, protecting the blood supply, ensuring proper use, and risks
Collecting samples for testing
Overview of the collection of samples from someone having a sample or specimen collected for laboratory analysis
Overview of genetic testing
Home and Point of Care (POCT) testing
Overview of home testing and its connection to rising expectations among health care consumers. Include currently available tests, links to other sites.
Other testing: radiology
Overview of radiology diagnostic testing
Positive patient identification
Importance of positive patient identification when having blood taken and or any other specimen used for testing
Reference ranges and what they mean
Informative article on reference ranges relating to interpretation of clinical lab tests and results.
How reliable is laboratory testing?
An explanation of the key statistical concepts that define test reliability and the role of lab testing in medical decision-making
Coping with test pain, discomfort, and anxiety
A series of articles to help adults, children and the elderly cope with providing a sample for lab testing.
A list of unvalidated tests that have doubtful use or are misused
Validation, Use and Interpretation of Laboratory Tests
How laboratory test methods are validated and how pathology results are used and interpreted
Test preparation: your role
Describes the role of the patient in improving the accuracy and reliability of medical laboratory tests.