Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Brendan O' Connell


The objectives of this project were:

i. To establish adult reference ranges for routine chemistries quoted in the Clinical Biochemistry Department, Cork University Hospital (CUH), by using samples from blood donors at the local blood bank. 120 samples of blood from male blood donors and 120 samples from female blood donors were collected from the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (Cork). These samples were analysed for 21 routine chemistry analytes, using non-parametric statistics.

ii. To study the statistics of nineteen routine chemistries of the adult population served by the laboratory over a one- month period. Results were collected for each of the age groups 18 to 45 years, 46 to 70 years, and over 70 years. Weekday daily patient means were studied. To improve the significance of the intervals, each age-group was further divided up by sex and by origin of sample, GP surgery or hospital. These means were then subjected to parametric reference interval investigations.

iii. To investigate the quality of the results of the nineteen analytes from the CUM Biochemistry Department. Reference intervals are given a great deal of truth by users and analyte performance may not warrant such faith. Therefore, a study of quality specifications based on biological variation for all 19 analytes was undertaken.

Conclusions: This project has shown that establishing an appropriate reference range is a very difficult task.

i. Analysis of samples from healthy individuals who had volunteered to donate blood, did not confirm the CUH quoted reference intervals.

ii. The daily means of various groups of patients over a one-month period produced very interesting results and pose many questions for the laboratory.

iii. 4’he patient results for routine clinical chemistry analytes generated by the CUH Biochemistry Laboratory are deemed by international recommendations to be of a very high standard.

Access Level


Included in

Biochemistry Commons