Indexed on: 07 Oct '09Published on: 07 Oct '09Published in: Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine
Laboratory results are reported in different units (despite international recommendations for SI units) together with different reference limits, of which several exist for many quantities. It is proposed to adopt the concept of the intelligence quotient and to report quantitative results as a quantity quotient (QQ) in laboratory medicine. This quotient is essentially the difference (measured result minus mean or mode value of the reference interval) divided by the observed biological variation CV(o). Thus, all quantities are reported in the same unit system with the same reference limits (for convenience shifted to e.g., 80-120). The critical difference can also be included in this standardization concept. In this way the information of reference intervals and the original result are integrated into one combined value, which has the same format for all quantities suited for quotient reporting (QR). The proposal of QR does not interfere with neither the current concepts of traceability, SI units or method standardization. This proposal represents a further step towards harmonization of reporting. It provides simple values which can be interpreted easily by physicians and their patients.