Press Release

Media Advisory - Briefing: Improving Children’s Health Through Better Laboratory Testing

Room HC-8, The Capitol

WASHINGTON – Healthcare providers depend on lab test results to help them diagnose and determine the most effective treatments for children—especially when treating children who are too young to communicate their symptoms. Join AACC and leading experts in laboratory medicine for a discussion about the need to develop precise pediatric reference intervals to improve lab testing for children, and the challenges that must be overcome before this can be accomplished.

Speakers will address:

  • The challenges labs face in developing better pediatric reference intervals
  • The importance of more accurate pediatric reference intervals from a physician’s perspective
  • How the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could help generate better pediatric reference intervals

To correctly interpret pediatric lab test results, providers must evaluate results within the context of reference intervals, which are the range of normal test values appropriate for the age, stage of development, ethnicity, gender, and geographical location of a child. The accuracy of these reference intervals is crucial to children’s long-term health. For example, thyroid dysfunction in newborns is one of the leading causes of intellectual disability in many parts of the world. This is prevented with early diagnosis and treatment—but accurate diagnosis requires reference intervals that account for the fact that normal thyroid hormone levels vary significantly with gestational age and change rapidly in the first days after birth.

Laboratory professionals have played a vital role in the creation of existing pediatric reference intervals. However, limited access to samples from healthy children has significantly hindered the establishment of precise reference intervals for most pediatric laboratory tests. More samples from healthy children are needed now so that the clinical laboratory community can fill this critical gap in pediatric healthcare—and so that children can get the right diagnoses and the medical care they need.

When: Luncheon Briefing: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Where: Room HC-8, The Capitol


  • Moderator: Dr. David Koch, Emory University/Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, GA
  • Dr. Dennis Dietzen, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO
  • Dr. Patrick Mason, Quest Diagnostics, Chantilly, VA
  • Dr. Hubert Vesper, CDC, Atlanta, GA

RSVP: Email Christine DeLong, AACC Senior Manager, Communications & PR at [email protected].

About AACC

Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, AACC brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of progressing laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Christine DeLong
Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine
Associate Director, Communications & PR
(p) 202.835.8722
[email protected]

Molly Polen
Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine
Senior Director, Communications & PR
(p) 202.420.7612
(c) 703.598.0472
[email protected]