BACKGROUND: Reference intervals for many laboratory parameters determined in 24-h urine collections are either not publicly available or based on small numbers, not sex specific or not from a representative sample.
METHODS: Osmolality and concentrations or enzymatic activities of sodium, potassium, chloride, glucose, creatinine, citrate, cortisol, pancreatic α-amylase, total protein, albumin, transferrin, immunoglobulin G, α1-microglobulin, α2-macroglobulin, as well as porphyrins and their precursors (δ-aminolevulinic acid and porphobilinogen) were determined in 241 24-h urine samples of a population-based cohort of asymptomatic adults (121 men and 120 women). For 16 of these 24 parameters creatinine-normalized ratios were calculated based on 24-h urine creatinine. The reference intervals for these parameters were calculated according to the CLSI C28-A3 statistical guidelines.
RESULTS: By contrast to most published reference intervals, which do not stratify for sex, reference intervals of 12 of 24 laboratory parameters in 24-h urine collections and of eight of 16 parameters as creatinine-normalized ratios differed significantly between men and women. For six parameters calculated as 24-h urine excretion and four parameters calculated as creatinine-normalized ratios no reference intervals had been published before. For some parameters we found significant and relevant deviations from previously reported reference intervals, most notably for 24-h urine cortisol in women. Ten 24-h urine parameters showed weak or moderate sex-specific correlations with age.
CONCLUSIONS: By applying up-to-date analytical methods and clinical chemistry analyzers to 24-h urine collections from a large population-based cohort we provide as yet the most comprehensive set of sex-specific reference intervals calculated according to CLSI guidelines for parameters determined in 24-h urine collections.