Need for Reference Ranges
Reference data for clinical chemistry on reference values of children in Taita Taveta County are fundamental for clinical diagnosis, management and research. In such a study, a target sample population of 120 respondents is usually required. In this study, a total of 577 healthy subjects from Taita Taveta population were employed to generate the normal reference data on eight clinical chemistry markers. The data obtained will provide needed information to medical practitioners with regards to patient management, as well as conducting research studies on disease.
The normal laboratory reference values currently employed in clinical and research institution in most of African countries, Kenya included, are referred from textbooks and local research works some of which, are decades old. These referred reference values are based on European populations where noticeable and significant differences have been scientifically proven from limited researches that have been done in south of Sahara. The Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute (CLSI) recommends that normal laboratory reference values should be established from a specific population and which should be verified every 5 years. This research was conducted to establish liver function tests normal reference values for 1- 17 years old residents of Taita Taveta district, Kenya.
Different genetic composition and lifestyles of different groups of people may also explain the differences that exist within members of the same population in terms of gender as tabulated in table 1 as well as in table 2. Other counties have reported similar differences in other age categories From the study its evident that diet, physical, genetics and social conditions have an impact on physiological functions in the same population.
The reference ranges that were established in this research study,most of them varied within the same population. This proves the needto establish age and gender reference values which are applicable toexact populations for diverse geographical regions, with various dietsand mineral compositions in soils instead of using biochemicalreference ranges that are determined from different populations andgeographical locations to be applied for all populations.
This research study established; liver function parameters for ages 1to 17 years of Taita Taveta-Kenya, which are independent from quoted in literature and different reagent’s manufacturers. There was evidenceof variation of some parameters from reported literature. This concur with other research findings in other parts of the world.
Journal of Clinical chemistry and Laboratory Medicne