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Effective Use of Mass Spectrometry in the Clinical Laboratory.



Historically the success of mass spectrometry in the clinical laboratory has focused on drugs of abuse confirmations, newborn screening, and steroid analysis. Clinical applications of mass spectrometry continue to expand, and mass spectrometry is now being used in almost all areas of laboratory medicine.


A brief background of the evolution of mass spectrometry in the clinical laboratory is provided with a discussion of future applications. Prominent examples of mass spectrometry are covered to illustrate how it has improved the practice of medicine and enabled physicians to provide better patient care. With increasing economic pressures and decreasing laboratory test reimbursement, mass spectrometry testing has been shown to provide cost-effective solutions. In addition to pointing out the numerous benefits, the challenges of implementing mass spectrometry in the clinical laboratory are also covered.


Mass spectrometry continues to play a prominent role in the field of laboratory medicine. The advancement of this technology along with the development of new applications will only accelerate the incorporation of mass spectrometry into more areas of medicine.

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