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Best practice in primary care pathology: review 5


This fifth best practice review examines three series of common primary care questions in laboratory medicine: (1) minor liver function test abnormalities; (2) laboratory monitoring of patients receiving lithium; and (3) investigation of possible venous thromboembolism. The review is presented in question–answer format, referenced for each question series. The recommendations represent a precis 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 are consensus-based rather than evidence-based. They will be updated periodically to take account of new information.

  • ALP, alkaline phosphatase
  • ALT, alanine aminotransferase
  • AST, aspartate transaminase
  • BNF, British National Formulary
  • DVT, deep venous thrombosis
  • GGT, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase
  • GMS, General Medical Services
  • NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • ULN, upper limit of normal

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