Preterm low-birth-weight infants remain difficult to manage based on adequate laboratory tests. The aim of this study was to establish blood reference intervals (RIs) in those newborns who were admitted to and survived in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A multicenter prospective study was conducted among all infants admitted to 11 affiliated NICUs from 2010 to 2013. The clinical information and laboratory data were registered in a network database designed for this study. The RIs for 26 items were derived using the parametric method after applying the latent abnormal values exclusion method. The influence of birth weight (BW) and gestational age (GA) on the test results was expressed in terms of the standard deviation ratio (SDR), as SDRBW and SDRGA, respectively. A total of 3189 infants were admitted during the study period; 246 were excluded due to a lack of blood sampling data, and 234 were excluded for chromosomal abnormalities (n = 108), congenital anomalies requiring treatment with surgical procedures (n = 76), and death or transfer to another hospital (n = 50). As a result, 2709 infants were enrolled in this study. Both the SDRGA and SDRBW were above 0.4 in the test results for total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and red blood cells (RBC); their values increased in proportion to the BW and GA. We derived 26 blood RIs for infants who were admitted to NICUs. These RIs should help in the performance of proper clinical assessments and research in the field of perinatal-neonatal medicine.
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