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June 1972

Laboratory Aids in Diagnosis.

Arch Intern Med. 1972;129(6):1003. doi:10.1001/archinte.1972.00320060151036

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This small book is a listing of laboratory findings in various diseases, and conditions that are associated with certain test results. The alphabetical arrangement of diseases and other subjects is convenient and useful, since no index is needed. The alphabetic method of listing individual tests for a disease or listing the possible diseases when a test is abnormal, however, is unfortunate. It obscures the relative significance, specificity, and comparative usefulness of various tests or entities listed in the tables. Providing the possible diseases which may cause a given test to become abnormal is useful; ie, the possibilities when Bence-Jones protein is present; but it is misleading to say "increased in" which suggests that "normal" Bence-Jones proteinuria exists. Diseases given in the order of frequency of occurrence would be more meaningful. Acute leukemia is another such example; 14 tests are listed without mentioning which are the most definitive (except that bone

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