Reference Intervals for Laboratory Tests and Procedures

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Last modified 22/03/2015

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Chapter 708 Reference Intervals for Laboratory Tests and Procedures

In Tables 708-1 through 708-6 (found on the Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics website at image), the reference intervals apply to infants, children, and adolescents when possible. For many analyses, however, separate reference intervals for children and adolescents are not well delineated. When interpreting a test result, the reference interval supplied by the laboratory performing the test should always be used as these intervals are instrument and/or method dependent. See Figures 708-1 to 708-3 (also located on the Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics website at image) for estimations related to dosages.


Mega- M 106
Kilo- k 103
Hecto- h 102
Deka- da 101
Deci- d 10−1
Centi- c 10−2
Milli- m 10−3
Micro- µ 10−6
Nano- n 10−9
Pico- p 10−12
Femto- f 10−15


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Ab Absorbance
AU Arbitrary unit
BB Brain isoenzyme of creatine kinase
cap Capillary
CH50 Dilution required to lyse 50% of indicator red blood cells; indicates complement activity
Cr Creatinine
CSF Cerebrospinal fluid
F Female
g Gram
hr Hour, hours
Hb Hemoglobin
HbCO Carboxyhemoglobin
hpf High-power field
IU International unit of hormone activity
L Liter
M Male
MB Heart isoenzyme of creatine kinase
mEq/L Milliequivalents per liter
min Minute, minutes
mm3 Cubic millimeter, microliter (µL)
mm Hg Millimeters of mercury
mo Month, months
mol Mole
mmol Millimole
mOsm Milliosmole
MW Relative molecular weight
ND Not detected
nm Nanometer (wavelength)
Pa Pascal
pc Postprandial