Background: Serum fetuin-A has been shown to be a strong risk marker for myocardial infarction/stroke in the general population, and has been associated with vascular calcifications in patients with chronic kidney disease. Although these issues are worthy of being addressed in children and adolescents as well, adequate age- and gender-related reference values are missing.
Method: Within a healthy paediatric population (n = 246), fetuin-A serum concentrations were determined (ELISA kit; Epitope Diagnostics, San Diego, CA, USA) essentially as described by the manufacturer. At the same time, serum protein and serum albumin were measured with established procedures (Beckman Coulter Inc., Krefeld, Germany). Subjects were stratified according to age (<1 yr [n = 25], > or =1 and <6 yr [n = 65], > or =6 and <12 yr [n = 66], > or =12 yr and <16 [n = 45] and > or =16 yr [n = 45]), and both genders were equally distributed within each age cohort.
Results: Within each age cohort, fetuin-A serum concentrations were normally distributed, independent of age and gender and the respective reference range (mean +/- 1.96 SD) is 0.22-0.70 g/L (0.46 +/- 0.24 g/L).
Conclusion: Fetuin-A serum concentrations are independent of age and gender in a healthy paediatric population and are well comparable with those determined in adults with the same assay.