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Clin Chim Acta. 2003 Jan;327(1-2):69-79.

New IFCC reference procedures for the determination of catalytic activity concentrations of five enzymes in serum: preliminary upper reference limits obtained in hospitalized subjects.

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Klinische Chemie, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, D-30623, Hannover, Germany.


Consensus among clinical chemists has dictated a change in reference temperature for enzyme catalytic concentrations from 30 to 37 degrees C. Consequently, International Federation of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) reference procedures have been redefined at the latter temperature. Acceptance in practice of these new procedures requires well-established reference values and clinical decision limits, but the establishment of reference values is complex. Therefore, as a provisional approach and to facilitate early application of the new IFCC procedures, we report our experience gained with them in the transfer of values from the consensus methods used hitherto in Germany to the new procedures. The preliminary upper reference limits were determined for catalytic activity concentrations of the enzymes alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), creatine kinase (CK), gamma-glutamyltransferase (gamma-GT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in human sera. Since enzyme measurements are almost always made on sera from non-ambulant subjects, we have used hospital patients aged 17 years and older as the subjects of our study. The catalytic activity concentrations obtained by measurements with the German consensus methods for the respective enzyme were chosen in combination with additional enzymes of similar diagnostic relevance to classify patients' samples as part of the respective reference collective. Measurements for the determination of the upper reference limits were performed manually by use of the primary reference procedures at the measurement temperature 37 degrees C according to IFCC, and also by employing mechanized measurements adapted to the reference procedures. The upper reference limits were calculated as the 97.5th percentile of the reference collectives and determined separately for women and men: ALT: 34 U/l (female) and 45 U/l (male); AST: 31 U/l (female) and 35 U/l (male); CK: 145 U/l (female) and 171 U/l (male); gamma-GT: 38 U/l (female) and 55 U/l (male); LDH: 247 U/l (female) and 248 U/l (male).

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