Guidelines and recommendations for laboratory analysis in the diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus

David B. Sacks*, Mark Arnold, George L. Bakris, David E. Bruns, Andrea Rita Horvath, M. Sue Kirkman, Ake Lernmark, Boyd E. Metzger, David M. Nathan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

353 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND - Multiple laboratory tests are used to diagnose and manage patients with diabetes mellitus. The quality of the scientific evidence supporting the use of these tests varies substantially. APPROACH - An expert committee compiled evidence-based recommendations for the use of laboratory testing for patients with diabetes. A newsystemwas developed to grade the overall quality of the evidence and the strength of the recommendations. Draft guidelines were posted on the Internet and presented at the 2007 Arnold O. Beckman Conference. The document was modified in response to oral andwritten comments, and a revised draftwas posted in 2010 and againmodified in response to written comments. The National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry and the Evidence-Based Laboratory Medicine Committee of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry jointly reviewed the guidelines, which were accepted after revisions by the Professional Practice Committee and subsequently approved by the Executive Committee of the American Diabetes Association. CONTENT - In addition to long-standing criteria based on measurement of plasma glucose, diabetes can be diagnosed by demonstrating increased blood hemoglobin A 1c (HbA1c) concentrations. Monitoring of glycemic control is performed by self-monitoring of plasma or blood glucose with meters and by laboratory analysis of HbA1c. The potential roles of noninvasive glucosemonitoring, genetic testing, andmeasurement of autoantibodies, urine albumin, insulin, proinsulin, C-peptide, and other analytes are addressed. SUMMARY - The guidelines provide specific recommendations that are based on published data or derived from expert consensus. Several analytes have minimal clinical value at present, and their measurement is not recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e61-e99
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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