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January 20, 1989

The Office Measurement of Cholesterol-Reply

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Georgia Augusta

Medical College of Georgia Augusta

JAMA. 1989;261(3):382-383. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420030056026

In Reply. —  We appreciate Dr Boerma's comments, since they provide an opportunity to address an important nonanalytic issue about cholesterol variability.The statement that blood treated with edetic acid is inappropriate for testing on the Reflotron is incorrect. While the Reflotron is designed for analysis of whole blood, plasma or serum is a suitable specimen. According to the manufacturer, either heparin or edetic acid can be used as an anticoagulant.Dr Boerma points out that we have used the term analytic range in two different ways. It is essential that clinicians recognize that a method may not be linear over the complete analytic range claimed by the manufacturer.Finally, Dr Boerma raises the important distinction between analytic variability and biologic variability. This issue has recently been reviewed.1 Biologic variability refers to the range of cholesterol values that one person manifests over time, even when diet, drugs, and other