What is Clinical Biochemistry?

Members of the ACBI are graduates in science and medicine who work as clinical biochemists in hospitals and related institutions.

"Clinical biochemistry" is for most purposes synonymous with "clinical chemistry" and "chemical pathology".

The following definitions are taken from:
Compendium of terminology and nomenclature in clinical laboratory sciences (the Silver Book) (draft electronic version, August 1995).

biochem/istry n., -ical adj.
Synonym physiological chemistry
(1) chemistry of living organisms (Henderson and Henderson 1979)
(2) chemistry of biological substances and processes (American Heritage Dictionary)
(3) study of the chemical basis of life processes (N. Sharon, IUBMB-NC)

See also clinical biochemistry
Remark The term bio-chimie was coined by Louis Pasteur.

chemical pathology n., chemopathological adj.
     Synonym clinical chemistry
clinical biochemistry n.
     Synonym clinical chemistry
     study of the changes that occur in disease in the chemical composition and biochemical mechanisms of the body (Baron 1986:615-616)
clinical chemistry n., clinico-chemical adj.
(1) special branch of medicine dealing with measurement and interpretation of the physicochemical condition and dynamics in healthy and diseased humans, thus contributing to a pathophysiological understanding and thereby to prophylaxis, diagnosis, therapy, prognostication and research of disease (Dybkśr 1984, p.11)
(2) branch of medicine concerned with developing and carrying out clinical analyses of body fluids and other biological material for the diagnosis, therapy and prophylaxis of diseases (after Richterich & Colombo 1981)
(3) branch of chemistry that deals with the composition and measurement of the secretions, excretions, concretions, and fluids of the human body in health and disease, and the chemical composition of cells and tissues (Schwartz & Dubowski 1973)
(4) study of metabolic processes in relation to their physiological and pathological changes in man and animals (IFCC Handbook 1991-1993:6)
(5) applied and fundamental science in which chemical methods are used on material of human (or sometimes animal) origin, in the service of health care (NL-NVKC 1988:4)
(6) scientific discipline within the medical discipline that comprises analysis of body fluids, cells and sometimes tissues, together with interpretation of the results of analysis, as well as the knowledge and skills necessary for management of a clinico-chemical laboratory (NL- NVKC working group on cooperation between clinical chemists and physicians in clinical chemistry, report 1992-09)
(7) body of chemical knowledge that is used by scientists and physicians to investigate disease processes in man (H.P. Lehmann 1994, draft paper)
Remark 1. Such designations as clinical biochemistry and chemical pathology cover the same field and, in practice, there are substantial overlaps between clinical chemistry and other clinical laboratory sciences, especially haematology, immunology, physiology and pharmacology (Dybkśr 1984, p.11).
Remark 2. Detection of substances (or their derivatives) for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons and detection of poisons (or their derivatives) are properly included in the field (Schwartz & Dubowski 1973).
Remark 3. The clinical chemist applies the techniques of analytical chemistry and biochemistry to obtain diagnostic and prognostic information about patients, and to investigate the evolution of disease and response to therapy. Clinical chemistry is thus a discipline which is inseparable from modern medicine, and is implicated in fundamental clinical and pathophysiological research (IFCC Handbook 1991-1993:6).

For references, see:
Compendium of terminology and nomenclature of properties in clinical laboratory sciences (the Silver Book)
J.C. Rigg; S.S. Brown; R. Dybkśr; H. Olesen.
published for IFCC and IUPAC by Blackwell Science, Oxford 1995.