Pediatric reference value distributions and covariate-stratified reference intervals for 29 endocrine and special chemistry biomarkers on the Beckman Coulter Immunoassay Systems: a CALIPER study of healthy community children

Clin Chem Lab Med. 2016 Apr;54(4):643-57. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2015-0558.


Background: The CALIPER program is a national research initiative aimed at closing the gaps in pediatric reference intervals. CALIPER previously reported reference intervals for endocrine and special chemistry markers on Abbott immunoassays. We now report new pediatric reference intervals for immunoassays on the Beckman Coulter Immunoassay Systems and assess platform-specific differences in reference values.

Methods: A total of 711 healthy children and adolescents from birth to <19 years of age were recruited from the community. Serum samples were collected for measurement of 29 biomarkers on the Beckman Coulter Immunoassay Systems. Statistically relevant age and/or gender-based partitions were determined, outliers removed, and reference intervals calculated in accordance with Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) EP28-A3c guidelines.

Results: Complex profiles were observed for all 29 analytes, necessitating unique age and/or sex-specific partitions. Overall, changes in analyte concentrations observed over the course of development were similar to trends previously reported, and are consistent with biochemical and physiological changes that occur during childhood. Marked differences were observed for some assays including progesterone, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone where reference intervals were higher than those reported on Abbott immunoassays and parathyroid hormone where intervals were lower.

Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of determining reference intervals specific for each analytical platform. The CALIPER Pediatric Reference Interval database will enable accurate diagnosis and laboratory assessment of children monitored by Beckman Coulter Immunoassay Systems in health care institutions worldwide. These reference intervals must however be validated by individual labs for the local pediatric population as recommended by CLSI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Chemical Analysis* / instrumentation
  • Child
  • Endocrine System / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers*
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay* / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Reference Values


  • Biomarkers