Critical comments to a recent EFLM recommendation for the review of reference intervals

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Abstract

In a recent EFLM recommendation on reference intervals by Henny et al., the direct approach for determining reference intervals was proposed as the only presently accepted “gold” standard. Some essential drawbacks of the direct approach were not sufficiently emphasized, such as unacceptably wide confidence limits due to the limited number of observations claimed and the practical usability for only a limited age range. Indirect procedures avoid these disadvantages of the direct approach. Furthermore, indirect approaches are well suited for reference limits with large variations during lifetime and for common reference limits.

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