The Thyrotropin Reference Range Should Be Changed in Older Patients

In endocrinology and many other disciplines, laboratory test results discriminate between patients who require treatment and those who do not. The reference range provided with the laboratory test result should align with the threshold for additional clinical action. When the reference range denoting a normal result is not aligned with the reference range needed for optimal health, confusion arises. Patients interpret the reference range as a normal range and question why abnormal test results are being ignored. Clinicians looking for an explanation for a patient’s symptoms may incorrectly focus on a result outside of the reference range. Accurate laboratory reference ranges are essential for good clinical care.