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A reference range is a set of values used by a health professional to interpret a set of medical test results. The range is usually defined as the set of values 95% of the normal population falls within.

The reference range will vary, depending on the age, sex and race of a population, and even the instruments the laboratory uses to perform the tests. Furthermore, by definition, 5% of the normal population will fall outside the reference range. The values given below therefore are given as examples only and should not be used to interpret individual test results. Factors other than medical conditions can affect laboratory values, such as male or female sex, diet, use of drugs (prescribed, over-the-counter and herbal remedies), and stress, as well as other more exotic factors like altitude.

Sorted by concentrationEdit

By massEdit

Reference ranges for some blood tests, sorted by mass. Template:Wide image

By molarityEdit

Reference ranges for some blood tests, sorted by molarity. Template:Wide image

Clinical biochemistryEdit

  • Items marked with a ** are part of "CHEM-7"[1] and CHEM-20
  • Items marked with a * are part of "CHEM-20"[2], but not CHEM-7

Electrolytes and MetabolitesEdit

Electrolytes and Metabolites:

Test [3] Patient type Lower limit [3] Upper limit[3] Unit Comments
** Sodium (Na) 135[4]-137[5] 145[5]-147[4] mmol/L or mEq/L[4]
** Potassium (K) 3.5[4]-3.6[5] 5.0[5][4]-5.1 mmol/L or mEq/L[4]
Chloride (Cl) 95[4]-98 105[4]-107 mmol/L or mEg/L[4]
Osmolality 275[4] 295[4] mOsm/kg
Urea 1.2[4]-2.5 3.0[4]-6.4 mmol/L ** BUN - blood urea nitrogen
7[4] 18[4]-21[5] mg/dL
* Uric acid[5] 0.18[4] 0.48[4] mmol/L
3.0[4]3.5 8.2[4]-8.5 mg/dL
** Creatinine male 62 115 μmol/L May be complemented with creatinine clearance
0.7 1.3 mg/dL
female 53 97 μmol/L
0.6 1.1 mg/dL
** Glucose (fasting) 3.8[4]-3.9 <6.1[6] mmol/L See also glycosylated hemoglobin (in hematology)
65[5]-70[4] <100[6] mg/dL
Total serum iron (TSI) male 65[7]-76[5] 176[7]-198[5] µg/dL
female 26[5]-50[7] 170[7][5]
newborns[7] 100 250
children[7] 50 120
Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) 240[7]-262[5] 450[7]-474[5]
Transferrin[5] 204 360 mg/dL
Transferrin saturation[7] 20 50  %
Ferritin[5] Male 12[8] 300[8] ng/mL
Female 12[8] 150[8]

Acid and baseEdit

Further information: Acid base physiology
Further information: Arterial blood gas
TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
pH 7.34[5]-7.35[4] 7.44[5]-7.45[4]
[H+] 36[4] 44[4] nmol/L
base excess -3 +3
PO2 10[4] 13-14[4] kPa
75[5][4] 100[5]-105[4] mmHg
** PCO2 4.4[4]4.8 5.8-5.9[4] kPa
33[4]-35[5] 44[4]-45[5] mmHg
Bicarbonate (HCO3-</sub>) 18 23 mmol/L
Standard bicarbonate (SBCe) 21-22[4] 27-28[4] mmol/L or mEq/L[4]

Liver functionEdit

Further information: Liver function tests
TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
* Total Protein 60[4]-63[5] 78[4]-82[5] g/L
* Albumin 35[9][4] 48[5]-55[4] g/L
3.5[5] 4.8[5]-5.5[4] U/L
Globulins 23[4] 35[4] g/L
* Total Bilirubin 2[4] 17[4] μmol/L
0.1[4]-0.2[5] 1.0[4]-1.3[5] mg/dL
* Direct Bilirubin 0.0[4] 5[4] μmol/L
0[5][4] 0.3[5][4] mg/dL
* Alanine transaminase (ALT) 7[5]-8 [4] 20[4], 40, 56[5] U/L Also called serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT)
* Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) 20[4]-38[5] 70[4]-126[5] U/L p-NPP at 30 degrees C[4]
Higher in children and pregnant women.
* Gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) 8[5] 50-78[5] U/L

Cardiac testsEdit

TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Creatine kinase (CK) - male 24[10]-38[5] 195 U/L
or ng/mL
Creatine kinase (CK) - female 24[11]-38[5] 170 U/L
CK-MB[5] 0 3 ng/mL
Troponin[5] 0 0.4 ng/mL

Other enzymes and proteinsEdit

TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
* Aspartate transaminase (AST) 5[5]-8[4] 20[4]-35[5] U/L Also called serum glutamic oxatoacetic transaminase (SGOT)
* Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) 85 285 U/L
Amylase 25[4]-30[5] 110[5], 120[12], 125[4] U/L
C-reactive protein (CRP) n/a 5[13]-6[14] mg/L
D-dimer n/a 500[15] ng/mL Higher in pregnant women[16]
Lipase[5] 7 60 U/L

Other ions and trace metalsEdit

Further information: Trace metals
TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Ionised calcium (Ca) 1.15 1.29 mmol/L Some calcium is bound to albumin, thus not measured by certain techniques.
* Total calcium (Ca) 2.1[4] 2.8[4] mmol/L
8.4[4] 10.2[4] mg/dL
Phosphate (HPO42−) 0.8 1.5 [17] mM
Inorganic phosphorus (serum) 1.0[4] 1.5[4] mmol/L
3.0[4] 4.5[4] mg/dL
Copper (Cu) 11[18] 24 μmol/L
Zinc (Zn) 10 17 μmol/L

LipidsEdit

Further information: Blood lipids
TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Triglycerides 0.4 2 mmol/L
50[5] 250[5] mg/dL
* Total cholesterol 3.6[4] 5.0[19]-6.5[4] mmol/L
120[5]-140[4] 200[5]-250[4] mg/dL
HDL cholesterol (male) 0.7 1.9 mmol/L
HDL cholesterol (female) 0.9 2.4 mmol/L
LDL cholesterol 2.4 3[19] mmol/L Not valid when triglycerides >5.0 mmol/L.

Tumour markersEdit

Further information: Tumour markers
TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Alpha fetoprotein (AFP) n/a 10 kU/l
0 44[5] ng/mL
Beta Human chorionic gonadotrophin (bHCG) n/a 5[5] IU/l in male and non-pregnant female
CA-125 (also CA12.5) n/a 35 U/ml
CA15.3 n/a 28 U/ml
CA19.9 n/a 40[5] U/ml
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
non-smokers at 50 years
n/a 3.6 [20] μg/l
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
non-smokers at 70 years
n/a 4.1[20] μg/l
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) - smokers n/a 5[21] μg/l
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) n/a 4[5] μg/L below age 45 <2,5 μg/L

HormonesEdit

Further information: Hormones
CategoryTestPatient typeLower limitUpper limitUnit
Thyroid hormones Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH or thyrotropin) 0.3-0.4[5] 3.0-4.5[5] mIU/L or μIU/mL
Free thyroxine (FT4) Normal adult 10[22]-12 [23] 23[23] pmol/L
0.7[24] -0.8[5] 1.4[24]-1.5[5] ng/dL
Infant 0-3 d 2.0[24] 5.0[24] ng/dL
Infant 3-30 d 0.9[24] 2.2[24] ng/dL
Child/Adolescent
31 d - 18 y
0.8[24] 2.0[24] ng/dL
Pregnant 0.5[24] 1.0[24] ng/dL
Total thyroxine 60[22][23] 140[22]-160[23] nmol/L
4[22]-5.5[5] 11[22]-12.3[5] μg/dL
Free triiodothyronine (FT3) Normal adult 2.5 5.3 pmol/L
0.2[22] 0.5[22] ng/dL
Children 2-16 y 0.1[25] 0.6[25] ng/dL
Total triiodothyronine 1.1[22] 2.7[22] nmol/L
60[5]-75[22] 175[22]-181[5] ng/dL
Thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) 12[5] 30[5] mg/L
Thyroglobulin (Tg) 1.5[22] 30[22] pmol/L
1[22] 20 [22] μg/L
Other Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) 1.3 18[26] pmol/L
20[5] 100[5] pg/mL
Cortisol (0830 h) 250 850 nmol/L
Cortisol (1630 h) 110 390 nmol/L
Growth hormone (fasting) 0 5[4] ng/mL
Growth hormone (arginine stimulation) 7[4] n/a ng/mL
Prolactin male n/a 450 mIU/L
Female n/a 580 mIU/L
Testosterone male 8 38 nmol/L
male prepuberty 0.1 0.5 nmol/L
female 0.3 2.5 nmol/L

HematologyEdit

Red blood cellsEdit

TestPatientLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Haemoglobin (Hb) male 2.1[4] 2.7[4] mmol/L Higher in neonates, lower in children.
132[5]-135[4] 162[5]-175[4] g/L
female 1.9[4] 2.5[4] mmol/L Sex difference negligible until adulthood.
115-120[4][5] 152[5]-160[4] g/L
Glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) 4[27] 5.9[27]  % of Hb
Haematocrit (Hct) male 0.38, 0.4[5], 0.41[4] 0.52[5]-0.53[4]
female 0.36[4]-0.37[5] 0.46[5][4]-0.47
Child 0.31[5] 0.43[5]
Hemoglobin in plasma 0.16[4] 0.62[4] μmol/L
1 4 mg/dL
Mean cell volume (MCV) Male 82[5] 102[5] fL Cells are larger in neonates, though smaller in other children.
Female 78[5] 101[5] fL
MCV standard deviation 35[5] 47[5] fL
Mean cell haemoglobin (MCH) 0.39[4] 0.54[4] fmol/cell
25[4]-26 34-35[4] pg/cell
Mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) 31[5] 35[5] g/dL
Red blood cells (RBC) male 4.3[5][4]-4.5 5.9[4]-6.2[5] x1012/L
Female 3.5[4]-3.8[5] 5.5[5][4]-5.8 x1012/L
Infant/Child 3.8[5] 5.5[5] x1012/L
Reticulocytes 10 100 x109/L
Adult 0.5[5][4] 1.5[5] [4] % of RBC
Newborn 1.1[5] 4.5[5]  % of RBC
Infant 0.5[5] 3.1[5]  % of RBC
Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) 11.5[5] 14.5[5]  % Coefficient of variation

White blood cellsEdit

TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
White Blood Cell Count (WBC.) 4.1[5]-4.5[4] 10.9[5]-11[4]
  • x109/L
  • x103/mm3 or
  • x103/μL
Higher in neonates and infants.
Neutrophil granulocytes 2 7.5 x109/L Also known as granulocytes (grans), polys, PMNs, or segs.
45-54[4] 62[4]-74  % of WBC
Neutrophilic band forms 3[4] 5[4]  % of WBC
Lymphocytes 1.3 4 x109/L
16-25[4] 33[4]-45  % of WBC
Monocytes 0.2 0.8 x109/L
3[4]-4.0 7[4]-10  % of WBC
Mononuclear leukocytes 1.5 5 x109/L Lymphocytes + monocytes.
Mean: 35% of WBC.
20 35  % of WBC
CD4+ cells 0.4 [5] 1.8[5] x109/L
Eosinophil granulocytes 0.04 0.4 x109/L
1[4] 3[4]-7  % of WBC
Basophil granulocytes 0.01 0.1 x109/L
0.0 0.75[4]-2  % of WBC

CoagulationEdit

TestLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Platelet count (Plt) 140[5]-150[4] 400[4]-450[5] x109/L
Prothrombin time (PT) 11[4][28]-12[5] 13.5[28], 14[5], 15[4] s PT reference varies between laboratory kits - INR is standardised
INR 0.9 1.2 The INR is a corrected ratio of a patients PT to normal
Activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) 18[5]-29 28[5]-41 s
Thrombin clotting time (TCT) 11 18 s
Fibrinogen 1.7[5]-1.8 4.2[5] g/L
Bleeding time 2 9 minutes

ImmunologyEdit

CategoryTestPatientLower limitUpper limitUnitComments
Acute phase protein
markers of Inflammation
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
(ESR)
Male 0 Age÷2[29] mm/hr ESR increases with age and tends to be higher in females.[30]
Female (Age+10)÷2 [29]
C-reactive protein (CRP) 0 5[13]-6[14] mg/L
Alpha 1-antitrypsin (AAT) 20 53 μmol/L [31]
150 350 mg/dL
Autoantibodies Antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
Extractable nuclear antigen (ENA)
Rheumatoid factor (RF) 0 20-30[5] IU/mL High levels not specific for Rheumatoid Arthritis alone.
Serology Antistreptolysin O titre
(ASOT)
Preschoolers n/a 100 units/mL
School age 250[5]
Adult 125[5]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. MedlinePlus Encyclopedia 003462
  2. MedlinePlus Encyclopedia 003468
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Unless else specified in boxes, then ref is: Ashwood, Edward R.; Tietz, Norbert W.; Burtis, Carl A. (1994). Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry, 2nd edition, Philadelphia: Saunders.
  4. 4.000 4.001 4.002 4.003 4.004 4.005 4.006 4.007 4.008 4.009 4.010 4.011 4.012 4.013 4.014 4.015 4.016 4.017 4.018 4.019 4.020 4.021 4.022 4.023 4.024 4.025 4.026 4.027 4.028 4.029 4.030 4.031 4.032 4.033 4.034 4.035 4.036 4.037 4.038 4.039 4.040 4.041 4.042 4.043 4.044 4.045 4.046 4.047 4.048 4.049 4.050 4.051 4.052 4.053 4.054 4.055 4.056 4.057 4.058 4.059 4.060 4.061 4.062 4.063 4.064 4.065 4.066 4.067 4.068 4.069 4.070 4.071 4.072 4.073 4.074 4.075 4.076 4.077 4.078 4.079 4.080 4.081 4.082 4.083 4.084 4.085 4.086 4.087 4.088 4.089 4.090 4.091 4.092 4.093 4.094 4.095 4.096 4.097 4.098 4.099 4.100 4.101 4.102 4.103 4.104 4.105 4.106 4.107 4.108 4.109 4.110 4.111 4.112 4.113 4.114 Last page of Deepak A. Rao; Le, Tao; Bhushan, Vikas (2007). First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 2008 (First Aid for the Usmle Step 1), McGraw-Hill Medical.
  5. 5.000 5.001 5.002 5.003 5.004 5.005 5.006 5.007 5.008 5.009 5.010 5.011 5.012 5.013 5.014 5.015 5.016 5.017 5.018 5.019 5.020 5.021 5.022 5.023 5.024 5.025 5.026 5.027 5.028 5.029 5.030 5.031 5.032 5.033 5.034 5.035 5.036 5.037 5.038 5.039 5.040 5.041 5.042 5.043 5.044 5.045 5.046 5.047 5.048 5.049 5.050 5.051 5.052 5.053 5.054 5.055 5.056 5.057 5.058 5.059 5.060 5.061 5.062 5.063 5.064 5.065 5.066 5.067 5.068 5.069 5.070 5.071 5.072 5.073 5.074 5.075 5.076 5.077 5.078 5.079 5.080 5.081 5.082 5.083 5.084 5.085 5.086 5.087 5.088 5.089 5.090 5.091 5.092 5.093 5.094 5.095 5.096 5.097 5.098 5.099 5.100 5.101 5.102 5.103 5.104 5.105 5.106 5.107 5.108 5.109 5.110 5.111 Normal Reference Range Table from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Used in Interactive Case Study Companion to PATHOLOGIC BASIS of DISEASE.
  6. 6.0 6.1 MedlinePlus Encyclopedia 003466
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Slon S. Serum Iron. University of Illinois Medical Center. URL accessed on 2006-07-06.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Ferritin by: Mark Levin, MD, Hematologist and Oncologist, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network
  9. GPnotebook 288686147
  10. GPnotebook 1436155929
  11. GPnotebook 1436155929
  12. GPnotebook 309002307
  13. 13.0 13.1 GPnotebook 946536472
  14. 14.0 14.1 2730 Serum C-Reactive Protein values in Diabetics with Periodontal Disease A.R. CHOUDHURY, and S. RAHMAN, BIRDEM,Diabetic Association of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh. (the diabetics were not used to determine the reference ranges)
  15. Plasma Measurement of D-Dimer Levels for the Early Diagnosis of Ischemic Stroke Subtypes Walter Ageno, MD; Sergio Finazzi, MD; Luigi Steidl, MD; Maria Grazia Biotti, MD; Valentina Mera, MD; GianVico Melzi d'Eril, MD; Achille Venco, MD. Arch Intern Med. 2002;162:2589-2593.
  16. Kline JA, Williams GW, Hernandez-Nino J (May 2005). D-dimer concentrations in normal pregnancy: new diagnostic thresholds are needed. Clinical chemistry 51 (5): 825–9.
  17. Walter F., PhD. Boron. Medical Physiology: A Cellular And Molecular Approaoch, Elsevier/Saunders. Page 849
  18. GPnotebook 1040580630
  19. 19.0 19.1 GPnotebook -214630397
  20. 20.0 20.1 Bjerner J, Høgetveit A, Wold Akselberg K, et al (June 2008). Reference intervals for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CA125, MUC1, Alfa-foeto-protein (AFP), neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and CA19.9 from the NORIP study. Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation: 1–12.
  21. Carcinoembryonic Antigen(CEA) at MedicineNet
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 22.12 22.13 22.14 Table 4: Typical reference ranges for serum assays - Thyroid Disease Manager
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Euthyroid Patient with Elevated Serum Free Thyroxine George van der Watt1,a, David Haarburger1 and Peter Berman
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 24.7 24.8 24.9 Free T4; Thyroxine, Free; T4, Free UNC Health Care System
  25. 25.0 25.1 Serum concentration of free T3, free T4 and TSH in healthy children CIOFFI Michele ; GAZZERRO Patrizia ; VIETRI Maria Teresa ; MAGNETTA Rosa ; DURANTE Adriana ; D'AURIA Annamaria ; PUCA Giovanni Alfredo ; MOLINARI Anna Maria ;
  26. Adrenocorticotropic Hormone:Normal. WebMD. URL accessed on 2008-11-09.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Hemoglobin A1c Test. MedicineNet.com. URL accessed on 2007-12-26.
  28. 28.0 28.1 MedlinePlus Encyclopedia 003652
  29. 29.0 29.1 Miller A, Green M, Robinson D (1983). Simple rule for calculating normal erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 286 (6361): 266.
  30. Böttiger LE, Svedberg CA (1967). Normal erythrocyte sedimentation rate and age. Br Med J 2 (5544): 85–7.
  31. Sipahi T, Kara C, Tavil B, Inci A, Oksal A (March 2003). Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency: an overlooked cause of late hemorrhagic disease of the newborn. J. Pediatr. Hematol. Oncol. 25 (3): 274–5.

External linksEdit

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