Establishment of pediatric reference intervals for routine laboratory tests in Korean population: A retrospective multicenter analysis

Ji Yeon Sung, Jong Do Seo, Dae Hyun Ko, Min Jeong Park, Sang Mee Hwang, Sohee Oh, Sail Chun, Moon Woo Seong, Junghan Song, Sang Hoon Song, Sung Sup Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Reference intervals defined for adults or children of other ethnicities cannot be applied in the evaluation of Korean pediatric patients. Pediatric reference intervals are difficult to establish because children are in their growing stage and their physiology changes continuously. We aimed to establish reference intervals for routine laboratory tests for Korean pediatric patients through retrospective multicenter data analysis. Methods: Preoperative laboratory test results from 1,031 pediatric patients aged 0 month-18 years who underwent minor surgeries in four university hospitals were collected. Age- and sex-specific reference intervals for routine laboratory tests were defined based on the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) EP28-A3c guidelines. Results: The pediatric reference intervals determined in this study were different from existing adult reference intervals and pediatric reference intervals for other ethnicities. Most tests required age-specific partitioning, and some of those required sex-specific partitioning for at least one age-partitioned subgroup. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, monocyte percentage, basophil percentage, activated partial thromboplastin time, glucose, cholesterol, albumin, bilirubin, chloride, and C-reactive protein did not show any difference between age- or sex-partitioned subgroups. Conclusions: We determined Korean pediatric reference intervals for hematology, coagulation, and chemistry tests by indirect sampling based on medical record data from multiple institutions. These reference intervals would be valuable for clinical evaluations in the Korean pediatric population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of laboratory medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Age-partitioned groups
  • Indirect sampling
  • Korean pediatrics
  • Multicenter
  • Reference intervals
  • Sex-partitioned groups

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