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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Hematology

Haematological and Biochemical Reference Values for Healthy Adults in the Middle Belt of Ghana
Published: Friday, April 27, 2012
Author: David K. Dosoo et al.

by David K. Dosoo, Kingsley Kayan, Dennis Adu-Gyasi, Evans Kwara, Josephine Ocran, Kingsley Osei-Kwakye, Emmanuel Mahama, Stephen Amenga-Etego, Philip Bilson, Kwaku P. Asante, Kwadwo A. Koram, Seth Owusu-Agyei


Reference values are very important in clinical management of patients, screening participants for enrolment into clinical trials and for monitoring the onset of adverse events during these trials. The aim of this was to establish gender-specific haematological and biochemical reference values for healthy adults in the central part of Ghana.


A total of 691 adults between 18 and 59 years resident in the Kintampo North Municipality and South District in the central part of Ghana were randomly selected using the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System and enrolled in this cross-sectional survey. Out of these, 625 adults made up of 316 males and 309 females were assessed by a clinician to be healthy. Median values and nonparametric 95% reference values for 16 haematology and 22 biochemistry parameters were determined for this population based on the Clinical Laboratory and Standards Institute guidelines. Values established in this study were compared with the Caucasian values being used currently by our laboratory as reference values and also with data from other African and western countries.


Reference values established include: haemoglobin 113–164 g/L for males and 88–144 g/L for females; total white blood cell count 3.4–9.2×109/L; platelet count 88–352×109/L for males and 89–403×109/L for females; alanine aminotransferase 8–54 U/L for males and 6–51 U/L for females; creatinine 56–119 µmol/L for males and 53–106 µmol/L for females. Using the haematological reference values based on the package inserts would have screened out up to 53% of potential trial participants and up to 25% of the population using the biochemical parameters.


We have established a panel of locally relevant reference parameters for commonly used haematological and biochemical tests. This is important as it will help in the interpretation of laboratory results both for clinical management of patients and safety monitoring during a trial.