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Clinical investigation 

Clinical investigation
Chapter:
Clinical investigation
Author(s):

Michael Doherty

, and Peter C. Lanyon

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0444
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date: 27 February 2021

Disease markers are pathological or physiological characteristics of an individual that assist in determining the diagnosis, the current activity of disease, or the expected prognosis of the condition in that individual. Some markers relate to just one of these elements; others may relate to two, or occasionally all three. Clinical markers are derived from enquiry and examination of the patient. For many common rheumatic disorders, clinical assessment alone gives sufficient information for patient diagnosis and management. In some situations, however, particularly with inflammatory, metabolic, or multisystem disease, a search for additional investigational markers may be warranted. It is important to emphasize that the requirement for and selection of investigations, as well as their subsequent interpretation, is principally determined by the clinical assessment. Investigations are an adjunct, never a substitute, for competent clinical assessment. There is no place for a battery of screening tests.

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