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Pregnancy and Laboratory Studies: A Reference Table for Clinicians

Abbassi-Ghanavati, Mina MD; Greer, Laura G. MD; Cunningham, F Gary MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181c2bde8

OBJECTIVE: To establish normal reference ranges during pregnancy for common laboratory analytes.

DATA SOURCES: We conducted a comprehensive electronic database review using PUBMED and MEDLINE databases. We also reviewed textbooks of maternal laboratory studies during uncomplicated pregnancy.

METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: We searched the databases for studies investigating various laboratory analytes at various times during pregnancy. All abstracts were examined by two investigators and, if they were found relevant, the full text of the article was reviewed. Articles were included if the analyte studied was measured in pregnant women without major medical problems or confounding conditions and if the laboratory marker was measured and reported for a specified gestational age.

TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS: For each laboratory marker, data were extracted from as many references as possible, and these data were combined to establish normal reference ranges in pregnancy. When possible, the 2.5 and 97.5 percentiles were reported as the normal range. In some of the reference articles, however, the reported range was based on the minimum and maximum value of the laboratory constituent. In those cases, the minimum to maximum range was used and combined with the 2.5 and 97.5 percentile range. We found that there is a substantial difference in normal values in some laboratory markers in the pregnant state when compared with the nonpregnant state.

CONCLUSION: It is important to consider normal reference ranges specific to pregnancy when interpreting some laboratory results that may be altered by the normal changes of pregnancy.

Because physiologic changes of pregnancy affect common laboratory values, established normal ranges for pregnant women are needed to accurately interpret laboratory studies in pregnancy. SUPPLEMENTAL DIGITAL CONTENT AVAILABLE ONLINE IN THE TEXT.

From the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.

Corresponding author: Mina Abbassi-Ghanavati, MD, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2009 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.