DOI: 10.1515/cclm-2023-0333 ISSN: 1434-6621

A guide to conducting systematic reviews of clinical laboratory tests

Andrew C. Don-Wauchope, Karina Rodriguez-Capote, Ramy Samir Assaad, Seema Bhargava, Annalise E. Zemlin
  • Biochemistry (medical)
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • General Medicine


Clinical laboratory professionals have an instrumental role in supporting clinical decision making with the optimal use of laboratory testing for screening, risk stratification, diagnostic, prognostic, treatment selection and monitoring of different states of health and disease. Delivering evidence-based laboratory medicine relies on review of available data and literature. The information derived, supports many national policies to improve patient care through clinical practice guidelines or best practice recommendations. The quality, validity and bias of this literature is variable. Hence, there is a need to collate similar studies and data and analyse them critically. Systematic review, thus, becomes the most important source of evidence. A systematic review, unlike a scoping or narrative review, involves a thorough understanding of the procedure involved and a stepwise methodology. There are nuances that need some consideration for laboratory medicine systematic reviews. The purpose of this article is to describe the process of performing a systematic review in the field of laboratory medicine, describing the available methodologies, tools and software packages that can be used to facilitate this process.

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