The researches find that the Children’s Research Institute study has highlighted the challenges of consistently diagnosing child blood samples and sourcing healthy samples for research. Published in Clinical Chemistry, the research paper; “Pediatric reference intervals across 5 analyzers,” used the blood samples of 616 healthy children and found that results from different laboratories were not always uniform. MCRI’s co-group leader of hematology’; research and University of Melbourne Associate Professor Vera Ignjatovic says laboratories test whether levels of blood biomarkers; are within a normal range but defining normal can be difficult; especially when it comes to children.

Diagnosing Child Blood Samples

“To define a normal range you need to test the blood of a large group of people;” says A/Prof Ignjatovic. “Getting access to the blood of healthy people can be problematic, especially when it comes to children and newborns. While parents are generally not reluctant to get their children to donate blood for research, children can only donate small amounts of blood; a factor that can create difficulties.” A/Prof Ignjatovic says that variations in results are either due to differences in how the blood is tested or because specific blood reference values for children are need.

“Better reference intervals (which define the normal range) could help improve clinical decisions in children around the world. Clinical laboratory test results are critical to evidence-based medicine; with nearly 80 percent of physicians’ decisions based on information provided by laboratory reports.” Therefore The study examined the results of tests for 30 blood biomarkers produced by five different automated blood analyzing machines.

Improve clinical decisions

“Results from the five analyzers were mostly within the ‘allowable error’ margin; however there were some variation,” A/Prof Ignjatovic said. “For creatinine, a waste product produced by muscles, levels varied by 11.9% between machines. Whether patient samples tested at different laboratories, using different analyzing machines; can be directly compared is of global importance. A/Prof Ignjatovic says that lack of regulatory incentives for manufacturers of lab machines may be contributing to lack of data on pediatric specific reference intervals and that changes to regulations could facilitate improvements in availability of age-specific reference ranges.

“This would help improve clinical result interpretation and decision making,” she says. Lead author of the paper, MCRI researcher, Monsurul Hoq; says the need for consistent blood diagnosis is even more crucial when a child’s care is share by a specialist, central hospital and local health care providers. Because For the study; blood was take from 616 child participants aged a few hours old to 17 years. Of the 30 blood biomarkers assessed, results varied statistically and clinically for six of the 30.