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Pitfalls in the performance and interpretation of clinical immunology tests
  1. R J Lock,
  2. P F Virgo,
  3. D J Unsworth
  1. Immunology and Immunogenetics, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, UK
  1. Dr D J Unsworth, Consultant Immunologist, Immunology and Immunogenetics, Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB, UK; Joe.unsworth{at}


A broad overview, with examples, of the potential pitfalls encountered in the clinical immunology laboratory is presented. Illustrative examples and case scenarios are provided from autoimmunity, immunochemistry and cellular immunology, looking at both technical and interpretative pitfalls.

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  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Patient consent: Patient consent not required. All clinical scenarios are fictional in terms of age, gender etc, but based around real lab data (from anonymised patients).