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Approach to laboratory ordering and interpretation in rheumatology
  1. Eli M Miloslavsky
  1. Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eli M Miloslavsky, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA; emiloslavsky{at}


Evaluation of suspected rheumatic disease is a significant challenge due to overlapping and sometimes non-specific clinical features. Most laboratory tests in rheumatic disease have incomplete sensitivity and specificity, leading to positive results without disease and negative results despite disease presence. Therefore, judicious ordering and correct interpretation of laboratory testing in rheumatology is critical in order to provide high-value care. Herein we review laboratory testing in rheumatology in the context of a framework for approaching rheumatic disease.

  • rheumatology
  • rheumatology

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  • Contributors EMM is the sole contributor to conception and writing of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.