^ Back to Top


Appropriate use of tumour markers

The appropriate use of serum tumour marker testing is complex and patient harm can occur when testing is requested but not clinically... View Article

May 2023

Research Update: Testosterone use and cardiovascular risk in older males

In the previous edition of Best Practice Journal, we covered the appropriate use of testosterone in older male patients (see:... View Article

September 2015

Prescribing testosterone in ageing males: why you shouldn’t read this article

Testosterone supplementation may be an appropriate treatment for males with clinical features of androgen deficiency and early... View Article

August 2015

Is point-of-care CRP testing useful in guiding antibiotic prescribing in patients with respiratory tract infections?

Point-of-care CRP testing may help primary care clinicians to identify with more certainty which patients with features of respiratory... View Article

June 2015

Factors that can affect laboratory investigations

In 2013 we published an article entitled “Best tests?” (Best Tests 18; Feb, 2013). In this article we challenged clinicians to... View Article

April 2015

Investigating myalgia in patients taking statins

Muscle pain (myalgia) and weakness is experienced by up to 10% of patients taking statins. However, myalgia is commonly experienced... View Article

August 2014

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule and Test Guidelines: haematology tests

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule has been created to provide consistent guidance and ensure uniform availability of tests across... View Article

August 2014

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule and Test Guidelines: Biochemistry tests

A new laboratory test schedule and accompanying referral guidelines have been developed for health care professionals in New Zealand.... View Article

February 2014

Hazardous substances series: Pyrethroid toxicity and its management

Contributed by Dr Michael Beasley and Dr Wayne Temple, National Poisons Centre View Article

December 2013

Laboratory investigation of exposure to metals or other hazardous substances in the environment

On occasion, General Practitioners will encounter a patient with a concern relating to possible exposure to a hazardous substance.... View Article

November 2013

“Oh and while you are here...”: Fasting may be unnecessary for lipid testing

A growing body of evidence and expert opinion suggests that fasting is not necessary prior to a lipid test in most scenarios.... View Article

November 2013

The New Zealand Laboratory Schedule and Test Guidelines: What does it mean for general practice?

In October, 2013, a new laboratory test schedule and accompanying referral guidelines were completed and are now available online.... View Article

November 2013

Which test should I use to diagnose type 2 diabetes?

This report presents how testing for diabetes has changed since the recommendations were published. Patients with diagnosed diabetes... View Article

December 2012

What your lipid test means for you

This A4 printable patient information sheet is designed to help patients understand the results of blood lipid tests and to describe... View Article

December 2012

When to use fasting glucose to diagnose people with type II diabetes

Until recently, fasting plasma glucose, and in some situations, oral glucose tolerance testing, have been the investigations of... View Article

December 2012

Testing serum cobalt and chromium in people with metal-on-metal hip replacements

Metal-on-metal hip replacements and resurfacings are associated with higher than acceptable failure rates, and particularly high-risk... View Article

December 2012

Sick and tired of being tired and sick: laboratory investigation of glandular fever

Glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) is a common, potentially debilitating illness that is most frequently seen in adolescents... View Article

October 2012

Looking back, looking forward: key messages 2005 – 2011

This report highlights four key prescribing and laboratory testing recommendations covered over the past five years. Over this... View Article

March 2012

The new role of HbA1c in diagnosing type 2 diabetes

A position statement released by the New Zealand Society for the Study of Diabetes (NZSSD) now recommends the use of glycated... View Article

February 2012

News in brief: HbA1c reporting and diabetes resources

As of 1 October 2011, laboratories are reporting HbA1c results in millimoles per mole (mmol/mol) only. For the preceding two years,... View Article

October 2011

Making sense of serum protein bands

Serum protein bands (monoclonal gammopathy) will sometimes be found following serum protein electrophoresis in patients presenting... View Article

July 2011

Routine laboratory testing during pregnancy

Most general practitioners no longer offer lead maternity care but may still be involved with the initial confirmation of pregnancy... View Article

July 2011

Should I still use both CRP and ESR when investigating temporal arteritis?

CRP alone is the best test for temporal arteritis. This article is out of date. Please see updated information here: Giant... View Article

March 2011

Testing patients with diabetes

Examines HbA1c and albumin/creatinine ratio testing rates for people with diabetes View Article

March 2011

The role of thrombophilia testing in general practice

Testing for thrombophilia is rarely indicated in general practice and should only be performed when the results will alter m... View Article

March 2011

Investigating mercury toxicity

Although there are many potential sources of exposure to mercury and its compounds, most people can be reassured that they are... View Article

November 2010

HbA1c targets in people with type 2 diabetes - do they matter?

Maintaining good glycaemic control reduces the risk of microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes and may also reduce the... View Article

August 2010

Appropriate use of tumour markers

The key role for tumour marker tests is in managing patients with established malignancy. Tumour markers are not indicated as... View Article

July 2010

Investigating the Gut: Coeliac disease

Tissue transglutaminase antibodies are the most useful preliminary step for testing people with a clinical picture suggestive... View Article

March 2010

Investigating the Gut: Inflammatory bowel disease - the role of faecal calprotectin

Clinical assessment of intestinal inflammation can be problematic. Faecal calprotectin can be useful in differentiating between... View Article

March 2010

Investigating the Gut: Pernicious anaemia

There are a number of causes of low vitamin B12 levels with pernicious anaemia being among the most important to identify. Parietal... View Article

March 2010

The role of troponin testing in primary care

Troponins have overtaken the traditional ‘cardiac enzymes’, and can provide valuable information of the likelihood... View Article

December 2009

Changes to laboratory reporting of HbA1c

A short article covering changes in HbA1c test reporting from percentages to molar units (mmol/mol). View Article

October 2009

TSH vs FT4: Reminder

A summary of the key messages from the thyroid campaign and changes in patterns of test requesting.For more detailed material... View Article

May 2007