Laboratory Reference Values for Some Routinely Analyzed Biochemical Parameters for Children and Young Adults in Taita Taveta, Kenya
Clinical chemistry reference values vary due to factors such as age, sex, race, diet, climate, altitude and genetics. Because of this, International Federation of Clinical Chemists recommends that each laboratory establishes its own references values for the biochemical parameters and not rely on the Manufacturer’s reference values. There is little information in the literature on biochemical reference values for Kenyan children and no reports on the children residing in Taita Taveta County. The aim of this study was to determine age and sex based reference values for 19 biochemical parameters for the children population of Taita Taveta, Kenya. This was a population based cross-sectional study carried out at Moi District Hospital, Taita Taveta region of Kenya. A total of 577 volunteer blood donors were screened and only 553 were involved in the study; 276 males and 277 females. Of those whose data were excluded, 6 were HIV positive, 2 icteric, and 16 were hemolyzed. Olympus 640 Autoanalyzer (Olympus Diagnostica GmbH, Hamburg, and Germany) was used to analyze the 19 clinical chemistry parameters. Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines were followed to create study consensus intervals. Reference values were constructed using non-parametric methods to estimate 2.5 and 97.5 percentiles of distribution as lower and upper reference limits, respectively. There were significant differences in relation to gender in children reference values for total protein, albumin, aspartate aminotransferase, total and direct bilirubin, sodium, uric acid, creatine kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase. There were also significant age differences in the reference values for total protein, total and direct bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyltransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, amylase, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and uric acid using ANOVA and post ANOVA analysis. In conclusion, the findings of this study provide sex and age specific reference range values for children from south eastern Kenyan region. This study recommends adoption of these reference values in this region and determination of similar values for other regions in Kenya.