Clinical biochemistry

Establishing pediatric reference intervals for 13 biochemical analytes derived from normal subjects in a pediatric endocrinology clinic in Korea.

PMID 25241678


Defining pediatric reference intervals is one of the most difficult tasks for laboratory physicians. The continuously changing physiology of growing children makes their laboratory values moving targets. In addition, ethnic and behavioral differences might also cause variations. The aim of this study was to establish age- and sex-specific partitioned reference intervals for 13 serum biochemical analytes in Korean children. A total of 2474 patients, girls aged 2-14 years and boys aged 2-16 years, who underwent a short stature workup but were diagnosed as normal at the Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic of Severance Hospital (Seoul, Korea) between September 2010 and June 2012 were included in this study. The levels of serum calcium, inorganic phosphorus, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, uric acid, glucose, total cholesterol, total protein, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartic aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and total bilirubin were measured using a Hitachi 7600 analyzer (Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation, Tokyo, Japan). Reference intervals were partitioned according to sex or age subgroups using the Harris and Boyd method. Most analytes except calcium and albumin required partitioning either by sex or age. Age-specific partitioned reference intervals for alkaline phosphatase, creatinine, and total bilirubin were established for both males and females after being partitioned by sex. Additional age-specific partitioning of aspartic aminotransferase in females and total protein and uric acid in males was also required. Inorganic phosphorus, total cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase, blood urea nitrogen, and glucose were partitioned only by sex. This study provided updated age- and sex-specific pediatric reference intervals for 13 basic serum chemistry analytes from a sufficient number of healthy children by using a modern analytical chemistry platform.