Establishment of reference intervals for immunoassay analytes of adult population in Saudi Arabia.
Background This is a second part of report on the IFCC global multicenter study conducted in Saudi Arabia to derive reference intervals (RIs) for 20 immunoassay analytes including five tumor makers, five reproductive, seven other hormones and three vitamins. Methods A total of 826 apparently healthy individuals aged ≥18 years were recruited in three clinical laboratories located in western, central and eastern Saudi Arabia using the protocol specified for the global study. All serum specimens were measured using Abbott, Architect analyzers. Multiple regression analysis (MRA) was performed to explore sources of variation of each analyte: age, body mass index (BMI), physical exercise and smoking. The magnitude of variation of reference values (RVs) attributable to sex, age and region was calculated by ANOVA as a standard deviation ratio (SDR). RIs were derived by the parametric (P) method. Results MRA revealed that region, smoking and exercise were not relevant sources of variation for any analyte. Based on SDR and actual between-sex differences in upper limits (ULs), we chose to partition RIs by sex for all analytes except for α-fetoprotein and parathyroid hormone (PTH). Age-specific RIs were required in females for ferritin, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, follitropin, luteotropin and prolactin (PRL). With prominent BMI-related increase, RIs for insulin and C-peptide were derived after excluding individuals with BMI > 32 kg/m2. Individuals taking vitamin D supplements were excluded in deriving RIs for vitamin D and PTH. Conclusions RIs of major immunoassay analytes specific for Saudi Arabians were established in careful consideration of various biological sources of variation.