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Reference intervals (RIs) are one of the essential elements in the procedure of disease diagnosis. This is especially true for feline species in which RI is less available than in canine species. RIs are affected by biological, geographical and instrumental factors, yet published RIs with incomplete background are popularly used. Inappropriate interpretations of RIs may affect classification of disease and subsequent treatment. In this study, we demonstrated the step-by-step establishment of feline RIs following the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP) reference interval guideline. A total of 51 parameters were examined, including 20 hematology and 31 biochemistry parameters, and the results were compared to one local RI and two foreign RIs. Overall, about 29% (10/35) of tested parameters were different form local RIs and 60% (30/50) were different from the two foreign RIs, highlighting geographical variations. A higher upper reference limit (URL) in red blood cell count (RBC), hematocrit (Hct), Hemoglobin (Hgb), albumin, creatinine and lower URL in potassium and white blood cell count (WBC) were identified, which may impact the interpretation. In addition, statistical analysis of age and gender were factored separately and indicated that 10 parameters were significantly higher in the adult group. For the impact of gender, percentage of basophil and total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) were lower in female and male cats, respectively. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that it is desirable to establish in-house RIs or RIs of local sources. An age specific RI for the geriatric feline population is advisable for better diagnosis and monitoring the disease.
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