Reference intervals of serum transferrin receptors in pre-school children in Zimbabwe

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In laboratory medicine an observed value of a biological analyte may be compared with previously observed values from an appropriate reference population. A reference range for serum transferrin receptor concentration has not been established for Zimbabwean children. We prospectively studied 208 children aged 3-60 months who were residents of Harare, a non-malaria and non-hookworm endemic area, and who attended a well-child clinic. Anthropometric measurements were calculated, complete blood counts performed and serum concentrations of ferritin and transferrin receptors determined. A final group of 83 pre-school children with no apparent illness was used to determine the serum transferrin receptor concentration reference interval after excluding individuals with abnormal clinical and laboratory investigations. The central 95 percentile interval for transferrin receptors after eliminating factors that are known to affect serum transferrin receptors was 3.9-9.5 mg/L. Children, aged ≤ 24 months had a lower reference range than children > 24 months old. This study provides an estimate of the serum transferrin receptor reference intervals in African children using the Ramco Laboratories, Stafford, TX assay kit. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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