Table 1.

Common topics covered in laboratory-related guidelines.

Preanalytical information
 •Prevalence of the condition
 •When to request/not to request a test
 •Diagnostic algorithm
 •Patient preparation
 •Timing and frequency of testing
 •Sample type and handling of specimens
 •Biological variation
Postanalytical information
 •Medical decision limits
 •Laboratory-related outcomes
 •Diagnostic sensitivity, specificity
 •Predictive values
 •Likelihood ratio, ROC curve
 •Post-test probability
 •Reference values
 •Interpretation of test
Analytical information
 •Selection and validation of test methods
 •Detection limit, sensitivity, specificity
 •Imprecision, bias, quality goals
 •Internal and external quality control
Other information
 •Turnaround time
 •Where test is done (e.g., accreditation)
 •Qualification and competence
 •Organizational and cost implications
 •Areas for further research