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Indirect Reference Intervals of Serum Calcium in Pakistani Children Using KOSMIC, Bhattacharya, and Hoffman Approach by Sibtain Ahmed, Ashish Kumar Agravatt, Ayra Siddiqui, Lena Jafri, Imran Siddiqui

Background: Reference intervals (RIs) of serum calcium vary based on age, population demographics, and methods of assessment. However, conventional approaches to establish serum calcium (Ca)RIs pose ethical and practical challenges, especially in the pediatric population. Hence, the use of indirect approaches is beneficial. This study was carried out to estimate the RIs of serum Ca using three indirect approaches in the pediatric and adolescent population of Pakistan.
Methods: Data mining laboratory information systems, for serum Ca results from 2013 - 2021 was done on a target population ranging from birth to 18 years of age. The population was grouped into three categories based on age (birth - 1 year, 2 - 4 years, and 5 - 18 years), as defined previously by Tahmasebi et al. in the CALIPER cohort. Pre-validated indirect algorithms, ‘KOSMIC’, Bhattacharya, and Hoffman, were used for analyzing the RIs.
Results: A total of non-duplicate 40,914 serum Ca tests were retrieved over a period of 6 years, including 38.7% (n = 15,830) from birth - 1 year, 16.3% (n = 6,641) from > 1 - 4 years, and 45.2% (n = 18443) from > 4 - 18 years respectively. The three methods revealed comparable performance with the direct RIs reported by Tahmasebi et al. in the CALIPER cohort. Keeping a stringent total allowable error of 1 mg/dl for Serum Ca as given by Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) the KOSMIC method outperformed the other two when compared to Tahmasebi, Houman, et al.
Conclusions: The study advocates the use of the indirect approach for calculating RIs for serum calcium in the pediatric population, especially to aid clinical decision making in a low resource setting, due to its ability to reproduce results in line with the direct approach in a more economical, practical, and feasible way.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2023.230305