2009-09-23Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2010.033
Laboratory reference intervals during pregnancy, delivery and the early postpartum period
Background: Physiological changes during pregnancy may affect laboratory parameters. Reference values based on samples from non-pregnant women are not necessarily useful for clinical decisions during pregnancy. There is a need to establish reference values during pregnancy in order to recognize pathological conditions. Methods: Eight hundred and one women with expected normal pregnancies were included in the study. Of these, 391 had no complications during pregnancy, delivery, or the early postpartum period. Blood samples were obtained at gestational weeks 13–20, 21–28, 29–34, 35–42, at labor, and 1 and 2 days postpartum. Reference intervals were calculated for 36 tests as recommended by the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Results: Many tests showed such large variations indicating that gestational age-specific reference intervals were necessary. Other tests had different but stable values when compared to non-pregnant women. A minor decrease in albumin levels was observed. This was not only due to pregnancy-associated hemodilution, since other components with the same or a larger molecular diameter did not show a similar decrease. Many tests exhibited a broad distribution around vaginal delivery and in the early postpartum period. Conclusions: Only a few parameters were unaffected during uncomplicated pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period suggesting that implementation of gestational age-specific reference intervals is necessary. Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:237–48.