To Readers of the Draft Guidelines:

The attached guidelines are the latest draft in preparing Evidence Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for the use of laboratory tests in the diagnosis and monitoring of hepatitis. The process of preparing these guidelines began with an organizing committee of experts from three fields: clinical biochemistry (John Lott, D. Robert Dufour), clinical virology (David Gretch, Frederick Nolte), and hepatology (Raymond Koff, Leonard Seeff). The group assembled a monograph reviewing use of laboratoty tests in hepatitis and recommended guidelines for their utilization; this has been revised three times based on input from expert outside reviewers, including the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease Clinical Practice committee Guidelines and the National Academy of Biochemistry Board of Directors. These draft guidelines represent a distillation and culmination of that effort.

The next step in the process is for widespread external review. We welcome your comments, which can be E-mailed to me at These must be received before Thurday, June 10, 1999 to be considered in the next draft. The guidelines will be further discussed at a two day Edu-Trak at the AACC Annual Meeting in New Orleans on Monday and Tuesday, July 26 and 27, 1999. The organizing committee will present the second draft of the guidelines, with over half the time devoted to input from the audience. Details of the meeting and a registration form can be found on the AACC web site at

Based on your input and that of the participants, a third draft of the guidelines will be prepared for expert review by the same groups as have reviewed the manuscript. After final revisions, the guidelines will be submitted for publication in a widely read clinical journal, along with a monograph that will be published by the NACB.

You are an important part of this process; your comments are important. Please include your name and title in your review so that you can be properly credited in the final product.

D. Robert Dufour, M.D.

Chairman, Guidelines for Use of Laboratory Tests in Diagnosis and Monitoring of Hepatitis Committee

Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, VA Medical Center, Washington DC

Professor of Pathology, George Washington University School of Medicine

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