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Pediatric reference intervals in China (PRINCE): design and rationale for a large, multicenter collaborative cross-sectional study

Ni, Xin, Song, Wenqi, Peng, Xiaoxia, Shen, Ying, Peng, Yaguang, Li, Qiliang, Wang, Yan, Hu, Lixin, Cai, Yanying, Shang, Hong, Zhao, Min, Jiang, Hong, Huang, Yaoguo, Mu, Runqing, Chen, Wenxiang, Peng, Mingting, Zhang, Chuanbao, Zeng, Jie, Li, Chenbin, Yang, Hongling, Jiang, Yongmei, Xu, Jin, Li, Guixia, Chen, Hongbing, Xiang, Yun, Cao, Sancheng, Guo, Zhenxin, Chen, Dapeng
Science bulletin 2018
adolescents, blood sampling, children, cross-sectional studies, females, hospitals, infants, males, pediatrics, surveys, China
There is a lack of accurate pediatric reference intervals (RIs) in China, with most commonly used RIs established without consideration of the effect of age and gender. The Pediatric Reference Intervals in China (PRINCE) project aims to establish and verify pediatric RIs for 31 common laboratory measurands. The project will be a large, multicenter cross-sectional study: 14,490 healthy children and adolescents aged up to 19 years will be surveyed by 10 children’s hospitals and one pediatric department of a university hospital. To evaluate the feasibility and efficiency of the study methods, 602 children were surveyed in the pilot phase of the PRINCE study in April 2017: it found that some measurands were distinctly age dependent and that there were differences between values for males and females. The results of the pilot study affirmed the necessity of the PRINCE project for Chinese pediatrics. The pilot also indicated potential difficulties in the full survey, e.g., difficulties in recruiting children aged under 3 years and insufficient collection of blood samples from infants. The operation of the PRINCE project has been modified based on the findings in the pilot study toward improving the validity of the PRINCE project and promoting its openness and transparency.