The C-STFT aims at global standardization of thyroid function testing and works towards this with the international in vitro diagnostic (IVD) industry. The current focus is on standardization of laboratory testing for serum total and free thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) and thyrotropin (TSH). The process to achieve this goal makes use of ISO conform reference measurement systems, which serve as calibration hierarchy to establish “metrological traceability”.
The overall benefit to expect from accomplishing this goal is that the standardized thyroid function tests will become fit to address modern clinical & public health needs, such as:
- produce equivalent laboratory data so that common reference intervals and/or clinical practice decision limits can be used;
- include laboratory data in electronic patient records;
- develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for application of consistent standards of medical care;
- combine laboratory data across studies to translate research into patient care & disease prevention activities.
On mid-to long term these achievements will increase the confidence in the utility and safety of laboratory data in clinical decision making.