Interpreting Laboratory Results

All lab results are provided as guides that you can share with your GP and should be interpreted by your GP based on your personal medical history.

Please also note that lab results are not expected to be identical, hence, the same sample from the same patient will usually have some variation in readings even if analysed within the same lab.

Test results may vary. An article that was recently published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) explains this and the factors behind variability in test measurements. A summary of this can be viewed on the BMJ website. 

Reference (or sometimes referred to as normal) ranges are provided in lab reports. These are standardised reference ranges, but they will not apply to everyone. The reference ranges mean a result may be marked as out of range or abnormal, but for you this might be a normal result. Whilst the ranges are helpful, it is important to follow the advice of the doctor who interprets the result. A test result outside the range may not indicate a problem, and results within reference ranges, do not always guarantee the absence of a problem. All lab results are provided as guides that you can share with your GP if you have any concerns and should be interpreted by your GP based on your personal medical history.