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Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

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News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Our Editor Gets His Vitamin D Test Results From 9 Different Labs

Reprinted article from THE DARK REPORT August 10, 2009 Issue
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Do different Vitamin D methods confuse doctors?

CEO Summary: Editor-In-Chief Robert L. Michel gave blood for the cause and it’s another laboratory industry first! To understand what doctors and patients see as national labs use different methodologies and reference ranges to report Vitamin 25(OH) D results, his blood was tested 24 times by nine laboratories. The results were unveiled at the Executive War College last May in New Orleans. These results are published here, along with comments from the All-Star Vitamin D Panel experts who discussed reasons why doctors might be confused and might misinterpret Vitamin D lab test results.

UNTIL RECENT YEARS, THE VITAMIN D TESTING MARKET was a rather quiet, uncontroversial corner of the lab testing marketplace. This was true because of the widespread acceptance and use of a long-established, FDA-cleared immunoassay test for Vitamin 25(OH) D.

However, this status quo in Vitamin D was disrupted when some national laboratories began performing Vitamin 25(OH) D testing using tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS). For a variety of reasons, this different methodology introduced a new element of complexity for physicians and their patients.

In recent years, laboratory scientists and pathologists have begun to publicly discuss and debate the pros and cons of testing for Vitamin 25(OH) D by each of the available methodologies.Much of this discussion centers on analytical precision.

However, this scientific debate about analytical precision of different methodologies among laboratory testing professionals often fails to recognize the needs of physicians and their patients. Clinical laboratory testing is done at the specific request of a physician who is evaluating and treating a patient. These physicians and patients are the true customers of the clinical laboratory, Thus, their needs and expectations for Vitamin 25(OH) D testing should be addressed in the public discussions of laboratory scientists.

During the All-Star Vitamin D Panel at the Executive War College in New Orleans last May, the perspective of the patient was introduced in a novel and unique way.  Robert L. Michel, moderator of the panel and Editor-In-Chief of THE DARK REPORT, shared the results of 24 Vitamin D tests performed on his blood by nine different laboratories in the United States.

Read Full Article and Test Results (download PDF HERE)

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