Reference values of galectin-3 and cardiac troponins derived from a single cohort of healthy blood donors

Clin Chim Acta. 2016 May 1;456:19-23. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2016.02.014. Epub 2016 Feb 24.


Background: Here we describe the determination of upper reference limits (URL) for galectin-3, high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTnI) and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) in a single cohort of healthy blood donors using routine assays.

Methods: For this reference value study, we used a cohort of 402 consecutive blood donors (64% were male and 36% were female). The median individuals' age was 35.0 years (range, 18.0-64.4). Individuals of this reference population were free of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, renal disease, cancer, current infection and chronic inflammatory disease. Plasma concentrations of galectin-3 were measured with the "routine Galectin-3" assay (Abbott Diagnostics), of hs-cTnI with the "STAT High Sensitive Troponin-I" assay (Abbott Diagnostics), and of hs-cTnT with the "Troponin T hs" assay (Roche Diagnostics). URLs were calculated by using a non-parametric percentile method.

Results: The 97.5th percentile URL for galectin-3 was 16 ng/mL in males and 17 ng/mL in females; the 99 th percentile URL for hs-cTnI was 39 ng/L in males and 24 ng/L in females; and the 99 th percentile URL for hs-cTnT was 14 ng/L in males and 11 ng/L in females. Those individuals with hs-cTnI values ≥ 15 ng/L (n=8) were different from those individuals with hs-cTnT values ≥ 10 ng/L (n=7). Of the 402 individuals, none had galectin-3 values below the limit of detection (LOD, <1.0 ng/mL), 290 (72%) had hs-cTnI values below the LOD (i.e., 1.9 ng/L), and 359 (89%) had hs-cTnT values below the LOD (i.e., 5.0 ng/L).

Conclusion: Plasma concentrations of galectin-3, hs-cTnI and hs-cTnT and corresponding 99 th percentile URLs were rather low in our cohort of healthy blood donors compared with previously published data. In our reference population, analyte plasma concentrations above the LOD were detectable in 100% of the individuals with the Abbott galectin-3 assay, but only in less than 50% for both the Abbott hs-cTnI assay and the Roche hs-cTnT assay.

Keywords: Cardiac troponin; Evaluation study; Galectins; Natriuretic peptides; Reference values; Upper reference limits.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / standards*
  • Blood Donors*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Galectin 3 / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Troponin I / blood*
  • Troponin T / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Galectin 3
  • Troponin I
  • Troponin T