Reference Values for Commonly Ordered Blood Tests

Analyte Specimen Reference value
Conventional units SI units
Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) P 6.0–76.0pg/mL 1.3–16.7pmol/L
Aminotransferases S
 Aspartate (AST, SGOT) 0–35U/L 0–0.58μkat/L
 Alanine (ALT, SGPT) 0–35U/L 0–0.58μkat/L
Ammonia (as NH3) P 10–80μg/dL 6–47μmol/L
Amylase S 60–180U/L 0.8–3.2μkat/L
Anion gap S 7–16mmol/L 7–16mmol/L
Antinuclear antibody S Negative at 1:40 dilution N/A
Antithrombin III P
 Antigenic 22–39mg/dL 220–390mg/L
 Functional 80–130% 0.8–1.30U/L
Arterial blood gases (sea level) WB, arterial
 Bicarbonate (HCO3) 21–30mEq/L 21–28mmol/L
 Partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) 35–45mmHg 4.7–5.9kPa
 pH 7.38–7.44 7.38–7.44
 Partial pressure of oxygen (PO2) 80–100mmHg 11–13kPa
Bilirubin S
 Total 0.3–1.0mg/dL 5.1–17.0μmol/L
 Direct 0.1–0.3mg/dL 1.7–5.1μmol/L
 Indirect 0.2–0.7mg/dL 3.4–12.0μmol/L
Bleeding time 2.0–9.5min 2.0–9.5min
Calcitonin S
 Male 3–26pg/mL 3–26ng/L
 Female 2–17pg/mL 2–17ng/L
Calcium S 9.0–10.5mg/dL 2.2–2.6mmol/L
Calcium, ionized WB 4.5–5.6mg/dL 1.1–1.4mmol/L
Carbon dioxide
 Content (sea level) P 21–30mEq/L 21–30mmol/L
 Partial pressure (PCO2) (sea level) WB, arterial 35–45mmHg 4.7–5.9kPa
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) S 0–3.4ng/mL 0–3.4μg/L
Chloride S 98–106mEq/L 98–106mmol/L
Cholesterol (totals)* P
  Desirable <200mg/dL <5.17mmol/L
  Borderline high 200–239mg/dL 5.17–6.18mmol/L
  High ≥240mg/dL ≥6.18mmol/L
 Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol P
  Desirable <100mg/dL <2.59mmol/L
  Near or above normal 100–129mg/dL 2.59–3.34mmol/L
  Borderline high 130–159mg/dL 3.36–4.11mmol/L
  High 160–189mg/dL 4.13–4.88mmol/L
  Very high ≥190mg/dL ≥4.91mmol/L
 High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol P
  Low <40mg/dL <1.03mmol/L
  High ≥60mg/dL ≥1.55mmol/L
Copper S 70–140μg/dL 11–22μmol/L
Cortisol S
 Fasting, 8am–noon 5–25μg/dL 138–690nmol/L
 Noon–8pm 5–15μg/dL 138–414nmol/L
 8pm–8am 0–10μg/dL 0–276nmol/L
Creatine kinase (totals) S
 Male 60–400U/L 1.00–6.67μkat/L
 Female 40–150U/L 0.67–2.50μkat/L
 MB isoenzyme 0–7ng/mL 0–7μg/L
Creatinine S <1.5mg/dL <133μmol/L
Erythrocyte count WB
 Male 4.50–5.90 × 106/mm3 4.50–5.90 × 1012/L
 Female 4.00–5.20 × 106/mm3 4.00–5.20 × 1012/L
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate WB
 Male 0–17mm/hr 0–17mm/hr
 Female 1–25mm/hr 1–25mm/hr
Ferritin S
 Male 30–300ng/mL 30–300μg/L
 Female 10–200ng/mL 10–200μg/L
Fibrinogen P 150–400mg/dL 1.5–4.0g/L
Folate (folic acid) S, P
 Normal 3.1–17.5ng/mL 7.0–39.7nmol/L
 Borderline deficient 2.2–3.0ng/mL 5.0–6.8nmol/L
 Deficient <2.2ng/mL <5.0nmol/L
 Excess >17.5ng/mL >39.7nmol/L
Folic acid RC 150–450ng/mL/cells 340–1020nmol/L/cells
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) S, P
 Female, menstruating
  Follicular phase 3.0–20.0 mIU/mL 3.0–20.0 IU/L
  Ovulatory phase 9.0–26.0 mIU/mL 9.0–26.0 IU/L
  Luteal phase 1.0–12.0 mIU/mL 1.0–12.0 IU/L
 Female, postmenopausal 18.0–153.0 mIU/mL 18.0–153.0 IU/L
 Male 1.0–12.0 mIU/mL 1.0–12.0 IU/L
Glucose P
 Fasting, normal 75–115mg/dL 4.2–6.4mmol/L
 Fasting, diabetes mellitus >125mg/dL >7.0mmol/L
 2-hour postprandial 120mg/dL <6.7mmol/L
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, erythrocyte WB No gross deficiency N/A
γ-Glutamyltransferase S 1–94U/L 1–94U/L
Haptoglobin S 16–199mg/dL 0.16–1.99g/L
Hematocrit WB
 Male 41.0–53.0% 0.41–0.53
 Female 36.0–46.0% 0.36–0.46
 Plasma P 1–5mg/dL 0.01–0.05g/L
 Whole blood, male WB 13.5–17.5g/dL 8.4–10.9mmol/L
 Whole blood, female WB 12.0–16.0g/dL 7.4–9.9mmol/L
Hemoglobin electrophoresis WB
 Hemoglobin A 95–98% 0.95–0.98
 Hemoglobin A1c 3.8–6.4% 0.038–0.064 Hg fraction
 Hemoglobin A2 1.5–3.5% 0.015–0.035
 Hemoglobin F 0–2.0% 0–0.02
 Hemoglobins other than A, A2, or F Absent Absent
Iron (hematology and coagulation values) S 30–160μg/dL 5.4–28.7μmol/L
Iron-binding capacity (hematology and coagulation values) S 228–428μg/dL 40.8–76.7μmol/L
Iron (clinical chemistry values) S 50–150μg/dL 9–27μmol/L
Iron-binding capacity (clinical chemistry values) S 250–370μg/dL 45–66μmol/L
Lactate P, venous 5–15mg/dL 0.6–1.7mmol/L
Lactate dehydrogenase isoenzymes S
 Fraction 1 (of total) 14–26% 0.14–0.25
 Fraction 2 29–39% 0.29–0.39
 Fraction 3 20–26% 0.20–0.25
 Fraction 4 8–16% 0.08–0.16
 Fraction 5 6–16% 0.06–0.16
Lactate dehydrogenase S 100–190U/L 1.7–3.2μkat/L
Lead (adult) S <10–20μg/dL <0.5–1.0μmol/L
Leukocyte count (WBC) WB 4.5–11.0 × 103/mm3 4.5–11.0 × 109/L
Lipase S 0–160U/L 0–2.66μkat/L
Magnesium S 1.8–3.0mg/dL 0.8–1.2mmol/L
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) WB 26.0–34.0pg/cell 26.0–34.0pg/cell
Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) WB 31.0–37.0g/dL 310–370g/L
Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) WB 80–100μm3 80–100fl
Osmolality P 285–295mOsm/kg serum water 285–295mmol/kg serum water
 Content (sea level) WB (arterial) 17–21 vol%
WB (venous, arm) 10–16 vol%
 Saturation (sea level) WB (arterial) 97% 0.97mol/mol
WB (venous, arm) 60–85% 0.60–0.85mol/mol
 Partial pressure (PO2) WB 80–100mmHg 11–13kPa
Partial-thromboplastin time (activated) P 22.1–35.1sec 22.1–35.1sec
Phosphatase S
 Acid 0–5.5U/L 0.90nkat/L
 Alkaline 30–120U/L 0.5–2.0nkat/L
Phosphorus, inorganic S 3–4.5mg/dL 1.0–1.4mmol/L
Platelet count WB 150–350 × 103/mm3 150–350 × 109/L
Potassium S 3.5–5.0mEq/L 3.5–5.0mmol/L
Progesterone S, P
 Female, menstruating
  Follicular <0.2ng/mL <0.6nmol/L
  Midluteal 3–20ng/mL 9.54–63.6nmol/L
 Male <0.2–1.4ng/mL <0.60–4.45nmol/L
Prolactin S
 Male 0–15ng/mL 0–15μg/L
 Female 0–20ng/mL 0–20μg/L
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) S
 Female <0.5ng/mL <0.5μg/L
  ≤40 years 0–2.0ng/mL 0–2.0μg/L
  >40 years 0–4.0ng/mL 0–4.0μg/L
Protein S
 Total 5.5–8.0g/dL 55–80g/L
  Albumin 3.5–5.5g/dL (50–60%) 35–55g/L
  Alpha1 0.2–0.4g/dL (4.2–7.2%) 2–4g/L
  Alpha2 0.5–0.9g/dL (6.8–12%) 5–9g/L
  Beta 0.6–1.1g/dL (9.3–15%) 6–11g/L
  Gamma 0.7–1.7g/dL (13–23%) 7–17g/L
  Globulin 2.0–3.5g/dL (40–50%) 20–35g/L
Protein C P
 Total antigen 70–140% 0.70–1.40
 Functional 70–140% 0.70–1.40
Protein S P
 Total antigen 70–140% 0.70–1.40
 Functional 70–140% 0.70–1.40
 Free antigen 70–140% 0.70–1.40
Prothrombin time P 11.1–13.1sec 11.1–13.1sec
Reticulocyte count WB 0.5–2.5% red cells 0.005–0.025 red cells
Rheumatoid factor S, JF <30.0 IU/mL <30.0 kIU/L
Sodium S 136–145mEq/L 136–145mmol/L
Testosterone S
 Total (morning)
  Female 6–86ng/dL 0.21–2.98nmol/L
  Male 270–1070ng/dL 9.36–37.10nmol/L
Thyroid hormone function tests S
 Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) 0.5–4.7μU/mL 0.5–4.7mU/L
  Total (T4) 4.5–10.9μg/dL 58–140nmol/L
  Free (fT4) 0.8–2.7ng/dL 10.3–35.0pmol/L
  Total (T3) 60–181ng/dL 0.92–2.78nmol/L
  Free (fT3) 1.4–4.4pg/mL 0.22–6.78pmol/L
Transferrin S 230–390mg/dL 2.3–3.9g/L
Triglycerides S <160mg/dL <1.8mmol/L
Urea nitrogen S 10–20mg/dL 3.6–7.1mmol/L
Uric acid S
 Male 2.5–8.0mg/dL 150–480μmol/L
 Female 1.5–6.0mg/dL 90–360μmol/L
Vitamin A S 20–100μg/dL 0.7–3.5μmol/L
Vitamin B12 S, P
 Normal >250pg/mL >185pmol/L
 Borderline 125–250pg/mL 92–185pmol/L
 Deficient <125pg/mL <92pmol/L

Key:  JF = joint fluid; P = plasma; RC = red cells; S = serum; WB = whole blood.


*National Institutes of Health. Third report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). September 2002. Accessed February 28, 2013.

Adapted from Kratz A, Ferraro M, Sluss P, et al. Laboratory reference values. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(15):1548–1563.

(Created 5/2013)

This article originally appeared on MPR