Establishment of the hematology reference intervals in a healthy population of adults in the Northwest of Morocco (Tangier-Tetouan region)
Introduction: Among the most useful biological examinations in common medical practice, blood count is the most prescribed. The reference intervals of the hematological parameters of this examination are of major importance for clinical orientations and therapeutic decisions. In Morocco, the reference values used by the laboratories of medical biology and used by doctors are ones collected from Caucasian and European individuals. These values could be different in the Moroccan population. Besides, reference intervals of the blood count specific to the various Moroccan regions are missing. We decided to determine the reference intervals from a population of healthy adults of the Tangier-Tetouan region by following the procedures recommended by the IFCC-CLSI guidelines in 2008 and comparing them to those of the literature. Methods: Blood samples were taken from 15840 adult volunteers (8402 men from 18 to 55 years old and 7438 women from 18 to 50 years old) from the regional transfusion center of Tangier and Tetouan during a period between November 2014 and May 2016. The complete blood count was measured by the Sysmex KX21N® analyzer. For each sample a systematic blood smear was done to determine the leukocyte differential. The data analysis was made by the software SPSS 20.0 by using percentiles 2.5th and 97.5th. Results: A significant difference between both sexes was noted (p<0,001) for all the hematological parameters (red blood cells, hematocrit, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, leukocytes, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, monocytes, platelets and mean platelet volume) except for the numeration of lymphocytes (p = 0.552). The values of this study were compared with those reported in Arabic, Caucasian and African populations. Said comparisons showed the existence of significant differences. Conclusion: This study tries to accentuate the necessity of proceeding with the establishment of reference intervals specific to the blood count of the Moroccan population to avoid errors of diagnosis, allow clinicians to interpret with greater specificity the hematological examinations and to improve the quality of medical care distributed to patients.