OBJECTIVES: Red blood cell parameters are frequently used biomarkers when assessing clinical status in newborns and in early childhood. Cell counts, amounts, and concentrations of these parameters change through gestation and after birth. Robust age-specific reference intervals are needed to optimize clinical decision making.

METHODS: The Copenhagen Baby Heart Study (CBHS) and the COMPARE study are prospective cohort studies including red blood cell parameters from 7,938 umbilical cord blood samples and 295 parallel venous blood samples from newborns with follow-up at two and at 14-16 months after birth.

RESULTS: For venous blood at birth, reference intervals for hemoglobin, erythrocytes, and hematocrit were 145-224 g/L, 4.1-6.4 × 1012/L, and 0.44-0.64, respectively. Hemoglobin, erythrocytes, and hematocrit were lower at birth in children delivered by prelabor cesarean section compared to vaginal delivery. Conversion algorithms based on term newborns were: venous hemoglobin=(umbilical cord hemoglobin-86.4)/0.39; venous erythrocytes=(umbilical cord erythrocytes-2.20)/0.44; and venous hematocrit=(umbilical cord hematocrit-0.24)/0.45.

CONCLUSIONS: This study presents new reference intervals for red blood cell parameters in early childhood, describes the impact of delivery mode, and provide exact functions for converting umbilical cord to venous blood measurements for term newborns. These findings may improve clinical decision making within neonatology and infancy and enhance our clinical understanding of red blood cell parameters for health and diseases in early life.

TidsskriftClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)275-284
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 27 jan. 2023


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