Within-day biological variation and hour-to-hour reference change values for hematological parameters

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Abstract

Background:

Middle- and long-term biological variation data for hematological parameters have been reported in the literature. Within-day 24-h variability profiles for hematological parameters are currently lacking. However, comprehensive hour-to-hour variability data are critical to detect diurnal cyclical rhythms, and to take into account the ‘time of sample collection’ as a possible determinant of natural fluctuation. In this study, we assessed 24-h variation profiles for 20 hematological parameters.

Methods:

Blood samples were collected under standardized conditions from 24 subjects every hour for 24 h. At each measurement, 20 hematological parameters were determined in duplicate. Analytical variation (CVA), within-subject biological variation (CVI), between-subject biological variation (CVG), index of individuality (II), and reference change values (RCVs) were calculated. For the parameters with a diurnal rhythm, hour-to-hour RCVs were determined.

Results:

All parameters showed higher CVG than CVI. Highest CVG was found for eosinophils (46.6%; 95% CI, 34.9%-70.1%) and the lowest value was mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) (3.2%; 95% CI, 2.4%-4.8%). CVI varied from 0.4% (95% CI, 0.32%-0.42%) to 20.9% (95% CI, 19.4%-22.6%) for red cell distribution width (RDW) and eosinophils, respectively. Six hematological parameters showed a diurnal rhythm.

Conclusions:

We present complete 24-h variability profiles for 20 hematological parameters. Hour-to-hour reference changes values may help to better discriminate between random fluctuations and true changes in parameters with rhythmic diurnal oscillations.

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