The AUA joined more than 30 other organizations in signing on to a letter authored by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry. The letter, addressed to Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK-04), requested an additional $10 million to fund the CDC effort to update and correct existing pediatric reference intervals. Reference intervals are the range of numeric values that would be expected in a healthy patient following a lab test. If a patient’s lab results fall outside of the reference interval, the practitioner may order medical intervention to address the condition. Therefore, it is critical reference intervals accurately reflect the physical development of patients from birth through adolescence to adulthood, including any variations due to race, ethnicity or gender.
While those intervals generally are reliable for adults, there is considerable inconsistency and large gaps in the ranges provided for children. The additional $10 million of funding would allow the CDC to collect clinical samples from a diverse array of healthy children using its National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Additionally, it would allow the CDC to use its Environmental Health Laboratory to generate the correct reference intervals for children and disseminate the information to clinical laboratories. The AUA feels correct reference intervals are an integral part in achieving a high standard of care for children and is hopeful this effort will result in congressional action.