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Section 8 - Normal Values

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 November 2017

David James
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
Philip Steer
Affiliation:
Imperial College London
Carl Weiner
Affiliation:
University of Kansas
Bernard Gonik
Affiliation:
Wayne State University, Detroit
Stephen Robson
Affiliation:
University of Newcastle
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Summary

“Normal” has different meanings. In the context of physical or laboratory measurements, “normal” may mean “average,” “disease-free,” or “within a given statistical range.” However, it is important to know the characteristics of the population yielding “normal” values before deciding whether these values provide an appropriate reference range with which to compare an individual test result. Many laboratories now print reference ranges on their reports and highlight test values that fall outside these values as “abnormal.” When the test subject is a pregnant woman, a fetus, or a newborn, and the reference population is composed predominantly of middle-aged men, then comparisons are patently inappropriate. It is important to understand how the physiologic changes of pregnancy affect the results of various tests and measurements before deciding whether an out-of-range result is actually abnormal.

Type
Chapter
Information
High-Risk Pregnancy
Management Options
, pp. 2087 - 2194
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
First published in: 2017

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