INTRODUCTION: The proper interpretation of the laboratory values seen in individuals depends on the validity of the reference intervals. These intervals may differ from one population to another due to variation in factors such as genetic profile, physical characteristics, and dietary intake. Reference intervals for most parameters are not available for the Indian population. This study presents reference intervals for 4 liver function parameters: total protein, albumin, globulin, and the albumin-globulin ratio for a segment of the Indian population, as well as a study of age trend and gender differences.
METHODS: The results were based on a minimum of 12.264 values for each parameter from individuals aged 0 to 98 years. These values were extracted from a large database of the laboratory of a tertiary care hospital after careful filtration of the appropriate reference values. The age-gender variation in the mean and median was examined and the reference intervals were obtained as 2.5th to 97.5th percentile.
RESULTS: There was a sufficient number of values in the various age groups and by gender except for the group aged 0-14 years. Therefore, this age group was excluded. The age trend was studied for males and females separately, as gender differences were substantial and consistent across age groups. Total protein and albumin levels declined with age, but the decline in albumin level was more rapid. Specific age-gender reference intervals were obtained for adults.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The effect of age and gender on all of the parameters examined was substantial. The obtained reference intervals are slightly different from those previously reported in the literature and currently used.