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Dictionary of Cancer Terms

View in Spanish: Intervalo de referencia

Reference interval (REH-frents IN-ter-vul)
In medicine, a set of values that a doctor uses to interpret a patient’s test results. The reference interval for a given test is based on test results for 95% of the healthy population. Sometimes patients whose test results are outside of the reference interval may be healthy, and some patients whose test results are within the reference interval may have a health problem. The reference interval for a test may be different for different groups of people (for example, men and women). Also called normal range, reference range, and reference values.

Source: National Cancer Institute Dictionary of Cancer Terms, available at www.cancer.gov/dictionary.