Pediatric Reference Intervals, 6th Ed.
EDITORS: Steven Soldin, Carlo Brugnara and Edward Wong
PUBLISHER: AACC, 2007.
ISBN: 978 1 -59425 067 5 (paper); 271 pp
Let there be no doubt that this book provides an extremely helpful data set for any laboratory which tests pediatric patients. Keep in mind that children are not small adults and that to generate a reference interval (reference range, normal range) on them would be at least daunting, if not impossible. Consider first that male children may differ biochemically from female children. Then consider that these two sets may differ as they are from birth to age, say, 19. In order to serve our clinicians, we must have some values to give them when they ask, "But what's normal for a three-year old's TSH?" In this book, to which we owe much to the editors who did so much to compile it for us, lie most of the answers. There are data on more than 250 chemistry and hematology tests collected using as many as six different methods. For the more common tests several dozen, even into hundreds of data points were collected; there were fewer on those less frequently ordered tests. The data were collected on pediatric patients in different institutions. In order to establish the intervals, the data were truncated using statistically valid tools and a modified Hoffman approach. (This method once used graph paper and pencil to draw a cumulative distribution. Today a computer helps.) For example looking at TSH for one method, the data were divided into six age ranges from 0-1 month to 13-18 years and then by sex. In these 12 sets, the number of data points was no fewer than 62 (females 0-1 mo.). The reference values ranged from less than 6.5 for the youngest males to less than 3.1 for the oldest males.
I hope that Drs. Soldin, Brugnara and Wong will have taken the time to update this as new methods and tests arrive on the scene. Perhaps if your volume is large enough, you might offer to share your data with them. Look what they are doing for us!
Book Reviews are written by David Plaut, Plano, TX. email@example.com