This best practice review examines four series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (i) “minor” blood platelet count and haemoglobin abnormalities; (ii) diagnosis and monitoring of anaemia caused by iron deficiency; (iii) secondary hyperlipidaemia and hypertriglyceridaemia; and (iv) glycated haemoglobin and microalbumin use in diabetes. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a précis of guidance found using a standardised literature search of national and international guidance notes, consensus statements, health policy documents and evidence-based medicine reviews, supplemented by Medline Embase searches to identify relevant primary research documents. They are not standards, but form a guide to be set in the clinical context. Most of the recommendations are based on consensus rather than evidence. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.
- ADA, American Diabetes Association
- CVD, cardiovascular disease
- DCCT, Diabetes Control and Complications Trial
- GMS, General Medical Services
- HbA1c, glycated haemoglobin
- LDL, low-density lipoprotein
- MCV, mean cell volume
- NICE, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
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Competing interests: None declared.