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Pediatric Laboratory Medicine
Current Challenges and Future Opportunities

Cheryl M. Coffin MD, Marilyn S. Hamilton MD, PhD, Theodore J. Pysher MD, Philip Bach PhD, Edward Ashwood MD, Jeanne Schweiger, Dennis Monahan, Deborah Perry MD, Beverly B. Rogers MD, Carlo Brugnara MD, Joe Rutledge MD, Ronald Weiss MD, MBA, Owen Ash PhD, Harry Hill MD, Wayne Meikle MD, William Roberts MD, Sharon Geaghan MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/C52D-BY0U-VXXU-R360 683-690 First published online: 1 May 2002


The practice of pediatric laboratory medicine involves unique challenges related to development, nutrition, growth, and diseases during different periods of infancy, childhood, and adolescence. This article discusses key aspects of pediatric laboratory medicine faced by clinical pathologists, clinical laboratory scientists, and clinicians, including point-of-care testing, preanalytic variables, analytic factors, age-specific reference intervals, esoteric laboratory tests, clinical impact, and future opportunities. Although challenging, pediatric laboratory testing offers many opportunities for improved patient care, clinical- and laboratory-based research, and education.

Key Words:
  • Laboratory medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Clinical pathology