Biological variation and reference change values of feline plasma biochemistry analytes.19 April 2016
This is the first report concerning biological variation and reference change values of feline plasma biochemistry components in the peer-reviewed literature. Biological variation refers to inherent physiological variation of analytes. The ratio of individual biological variation to group biological variation is referred to as an analyte's index of individuality. This index determines the suitability of an analyte to be assessed in relation to population- or subject-based reference intervals. A subject-based reference interval is referred to as a reference change value or critical difference, and is calculated from individual biological variation. Fourteen cats were sampled for plasma biochemistry analysis once weekly for 6 weeks. Samples were stored and then tested at the same time. Results were assessed in duplicate and coefficients of variation for each analyte were isolated to distinguish variation within each subject, between all subjects and by the analyser. From these results, an index of individuality and reference change values were determined for each analyte. Five plasma biochemistry analytes (alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, cholesterol, creatinine and globulin) had high individuality and, therefore, subject-based reference intervals are more appropriate; only one analyte (sodium) had low individuality, indicating that population-based reference intervals are appropriate. Most analytes had intermediate individuality so population-based reference intervals should be assessed in relation to subject-based reference intervals. The results of this study demonstrate high individuality for most analytes and, therefore, that population-based reference intervals are of limited utility for most biochemical analytes in cats.