Children aren't small adults. Their development and diseases present unique challenges for pediatric laboratory testing.
Treatment decisions for children often depend on test results with pediatric-specific reference ranges. Without solid numbers to interpret lab results, clinicians don't have a clear picture of age-appropriate biochemical indicators.
AACC's Pediatric Reference Range Initiative is spearheaded by AACC's Pediatric and Maternal-Fetal Division and Pediatric Reference Range Committee (PRRC).
The goals are to:
- Promote research to create data for developing new pediatric reference ranges
- Educate key stakeholders about the need for new pediatric reference intervals
- Foster greater collaboration and data-sharing
The PRRC is using blood spots from the NIH National Children's Study in pilot studies to generate new reference ranges for certain amino acids and steroids.
Reference ranges have traditionally been based on values from hospitalized children, adjusted for outliers, and on small studies that have not yielded robust data. The AACC pilot studies will provide statistically reliable data that meets industry standards for establishing reference ranges.