American Society for Clinical Pathology

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013

Don’t perform population based screening for 25-OH-Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in many populations, particularly in patients at higher latitudes, during winter months and in those with limited sun exposure. Over the counter Vitamin D supplements and increased summer sun exposure are sufficient for most otherwise healthy patients. Laboratory testing is appropriate in higher risk patients when results will be used to institute more aggressive therapy (e.g., osteoporosis, chronic kidney disease, malabsorption, some infections, obese individuals).


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1-5: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list was developed under the leadership of the chair of ASCP’s Institute Advisory Committee and Past President of ASCP. Subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine were included in this process for their expertise and guidance. The review panel examined hundreds of options based on both the practice of pathology and evidence available through an extensive review of the literature. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and, eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. The final list is not exhaustive (many other tests/procedures were also identified and were also worthy of consideration), but the recommendations, if instituted, would result in higher quality care, lower costs, and more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

6–10: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Choosing Wisely Ad Hoc Committee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and is comprised of subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered an initial list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees and councils. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implementation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care, lower costs and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

11–15: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Effective Test Utilization Subcommittee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and comprises subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered an initial list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees, and councils. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful (either entirely or in specific clinical situations); use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implementation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care, lower costs, and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

 

ASCP’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.ascp.org.

Sources

Sattar N, Welsh P, Panarelli M, Forouchi NG. Increasing requests for vitamin D measurement: Costly, confusing, and without credibility. Lancet [Internet]. 2012 Jan 14 [cited 2012 Oct 12];379:95-96.

Bilinski K, Boyages S. The rising cost of vitamin D testing in Australia: time to establish guidelines for testing. Med J Aust [Internet]. 2012 Jul 16 [cited 2012 Oct 12];197 (2):90.

Lu CM. Pathology consultation on vitamin D testing: Clinical indications for 25(OH) vitamin D measurement [Letter to the editor]. Am J Clin Pathol [Internet]. 2012 May [cited 2012 Oct 12];137:831.

Holick M, Binkely N, Bischoll-Ferrari H, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, Murad MH, Weaver CM; Endocrine Society. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab [Internet]. 2011 Jul [cited 2012 Oct 12];96(7):1911-1930.