A Comprehensive Guide to Normal Lab Values

Laboratory tests are procedures wherein a sample of blood, urine, other bodily fluid or tissue are checked in order to know more about a person’s health. The results of the test will show if a person is within the normal lab values.

What are normal lab values?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), normal lab test values are a set of upper and lower limits generally given as a range since normal values vary from person to person.

Laboratory tests are commonly administered in discovering the cause of symptoms, confirming a diagnosis and screening for diseases. The information obtained from the test can also help rule out, asses and monitor the progression of a disease and plan for treatment. All laboratory test results should be interpreted within the context of the patient’s general health and must be used with additional exams or tests.

A doctor will send the sample collected to a laboratory for testing. The sample will be tested to see how it reacts to different substances. The results will then be returned to the doctor to determine health conditions. Laboratories may also compare previous tests to see if there is a change in condition.

There are many factors that can affect lab results including sex, age, race, medical history and general health. Food, drugs, laboratory techniques and changes in laboratories may also affect results. In most cases, patients are advised to defer from drinking, eating and taking medication several hours before the tests.

The FDA is the regulating body in charge of the development and marketing of laboratory tests that use test kits and equipment commercially manufactured in the United States. Once approved, federal and state agencies ensure that test materials and equipment meet manufacturing and use standards.

The following lab values is just a partial listing of the information provided to Meditec.com students enrolled in select training courses. Click on the specific term to see their normal lab values:

HEMATOLOGY – Red Blood Cells. Back to top

It is the measurement of the normal range of red blood cell count of a person.

  • RBC (Male) 4.2 – 5.6 10^6 / µL [Scientific Notation: 10^6 = 1,000,000]
  • RBC (Female) 3.8 – 5.1 10^6 / µL
  • RBC (Child) 3.5 – 5.0 10^6 / µL

HEMATOLOGY – White Blood Cells. Back to top

It is the measurement of the white blood cell count in the body.

  • WBC (Male) 3.8 – 11.0 10^3 / mm3 [Scientific Notation: 10^3 = 1,000]
  • WBC (Female) 3.8 – 11.0 10^3 / mm3
  • WBC (Child) 5.0 – 10.0 10^3 / mm3

HEMOGLOBIN Back to top

Diseases that affect red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood may be

  • Hgb (Male) 14 – 18 g/dL
  • Hgb (Female) 11 – 16 g/dL
  • Hgb (Child) 10 – 14 g/dL
  • Hgb (Newborn) 15 – 25 g/dL

HEMATOCRIT Back to top

Determines the proportion of blood that is made up of red blood cells and may be used to determine the severity of anemia.

  • Hct (Male) 39 – 54%
  • Hct (Female) 34 – 47%
  • Hct (Child) 30 – 42%
  • MCV 78 – 98 fL
  • MCH 27 – 35 pg
  • MCHC 31 – 37%
  • neutrophils 50 – 81%
  • bands 1 – 5%
  • lymphocytes 14 – 44%
  • monocytes 2 – 6%
  • eosinophils 1 – 5%
  • basophils 0 – 1%

CARDIAC MARKERS Back to top

Used to diagnose patients with chest discomfort suspected with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

  • troponin I 0 – 0.1 ng/ml (onset: 4-6 hrs, peak: 12-24 hrs, return to normal: 4-7 days)
  • troponin T 0 – 0.2 ng/ml (onset: 3-4 hrs, peak: 10-24 hrs, return to normal: 10-14 days)
  • myoglobin (Male) 10 – 95 ng/ml (onset: 1-3 hrs, peak: 6-10 hrs, return to normal: 12-24 hrs)
  • myoglobin (Female) 10 – 65 ng/ml (onset: 1-3 hrs, peak: 6-10 hrs, return to normal: 12-24 hrs)

GENERAL CHEMISTRY Back to top

The general chemistry panel evaluates a number of the body’s components.

  • acetone 0.3 – 2.0 mg%
  • albumin 3.5 – 5.0 gm/dL
  • alkaline phosphatase 32 – 110 U/L
  • anion gap 5 – 16 mEq/L
  • ammonia 11 – 35 µmol/L
  • amylase 50 – 150 U/dL
  • AST,SGOT (Male) 7 – 21 U/L
  • AST,SGOT (Female) 6 – 18 U/L
  • bilirubin, direct 0.0 – 0.4 mg/dL
  • bilirubin, indirect total minus direct
  • bilirubin, total 0.2 – 1.4 mg/dL
  • BUN 6 – 23 mg/dL
  • calcium (total) 8 – 11 mg/dL
  • carbon dioxide 21 – 34 mEq/L
  • carbon monoxide symptoms at greater than or equal to 10% saturation
  • chloride 96 – 112 mEq/L
  • creatine (Male) 0.2 – 0.6 mg/dL
  • creatine (Female) 0.6 – 1.0 mg/dL
  • creatinine 0.6 – 1.5 mg/dL
  • ethanol 0 mg%; Coma:
  • greater than or equal to 400 – 500 mg%
  • folic acid 2.0 – 21 ng/mL
  • glucose 65 – 99 mg/dL
  • (diuresis greater than or equal to 180 mg/dL)
  • HDL (Male) 25 – 65 mg/dL
  • HDL (Female) 38 – 94 mg/dL
  • iron 52 – 169 µg/dL
  • iron binding capacity 246 – 455 µg/dL
  • lactic acid 0.4 – 2.3 mEq/L
  • lactate 0.3 – 2.3 mEq/L
  • lipase 10 – 140 U/L
  • magnesium 1.5 – 2.5 mg/dL
  • osmolarity 276 – 295 mOsm/kg
  • parathyroid hormone 12 – 68 pg/mL
  • phosphorus 2.2 – 4.8 mg/dL
  • potassium 3.5 – 5.5 mEq/L
  • SGPT 8 – 32 U/L
  • sodium 135 – 148 mEq/L
  • T3 0.8 – 1.1 µg/dL
  • thyroglobulin less than 55 ng/mL
  • thyroxine (T4) (total) 5 – 13 µg/dL
  • total protein 5 – 9 gm/dL
  • TSH Less than 9 µU/mL
  • urea nitrogen 8 – 25 mg/dL
  • uric acid (Male) 3.5 – 7.7 mg/dL
  • uric acid (Female) 2.5 – 6.6 mg/dL
  • LIPID PANEL (Adult)
  • cholesterol (total) Less than 200 mg/dL desirable
  • cholesterol (HDL) 30 – 75 mg/dL
  • cholesterol (LDL) Less than 130 mg/dL desirable
  • triglycerides (Male) Greater than 40 – 170 mg/dL
  • triglycerides (Female) Greater than 35 – 135 mg/dL

URINE Back to top

Urine tests are used to diagnose different metabolic and kidney disorders.

  • color Straw
  • specific gravity 1.003 – 1.040
  • pH 4.6 – 8.0
  • Na 10 – 40 mEq/L
  • K Less than 8 mEq/L
  • C1 Less than 8 mEq/L
  • protein 1 – 15 mg/dL
  • osmolality 80 – 1300 mOsm/L
  • 24 HOUR URINE
  • amylase 250 – 1100 IU / 24 hr
  • calcium 100 – 250 mg / 24 hr
  • chloride 110 – 250 mEq / 24 hr
  • creatinine 1 – 2 g / 24 hr
  • creatine clearance (Male) 100 – 140 mL / min
  • creatine clearance (Male) 16 – 26 mg / kg / 24 hr
  • creatine clearance (Female) 80 – 130 mL / min
  • creatine clearance (Female) 10 – 20 mg / kg / 24 hr
  • magnesium 6 – 9 mEq / 24 hr
  • osmolality 450 – 900 mOsm / kg
  • phosphorus 0.9 – 1.3 g / 24 hr
  • potassium 35 – 85 mEq / 24 hr
  • protein 0 – 150 mg / 24 hr
  • sodium 30 – 280 mEq / 24 hr
  • urea nitrogen 10 – 22 gm / 24 hr
  • uric acid 240 – 755 mg / 24 hr

COAGULATION Back to top

Coagulation factor tests calculate the role of proteins necessary for blood clot formation.

  • ACT 90 – 130 seconds
  • APTT 21 – 35 seconds
  • platelets 140,000 – 450,000 /ml
  • plasminogen 62 – 130%
  • PT 10 – 14 seconds
  • PTT 32 – 45 seconds
  • FSP Less than 10 µg/dL
  • fibrinogen 160 – 450 mg/dL
  • bleeding time 3 – 7 minutes
  • thrombin time 11 – 15 seconds

CEREBRAL SPINAL FLUID Back to top

It is a series of tests that assess substances present in the cerebral spinal fluid in order to be able to diagnose circumstances affecting the central nervous system.

  • appearance clear
  • glucose 40 – 85 mg/dL
  • osmolality 290 – 298 mOsm/L
  • pressure 70 – 180 mm/H2O
  • protein 15 – 45 mg/dL
  • total cell count 0 – 5 cells
  • WBCs 0 – 6 / µL

HEMODYNAMIC PARAMETERS Back to top

The examination of hemodynamic parameters over time, such as blood pressure and heart rate in order to gauge blood flow and circulation.

  • cardiac index 2.5 – 4.2 L / min / m2
  • cardiac output 4 – 8 LPM
  • left ventricular stroke work index 40 – 70 g / m2 / beat
  • right ventricular stroke work index 7 – 12 g / m2 / beat
  • mean arterial pressure 70 – 105 mm Hg
  • pulmonary vascular resistance 155 – 255 dynes / sec / cm to the negative 5
  • pulmonary vascular resistance index 255 – 285 dynes / sec / cm to the negative 5
  • stroke volume 60 – 100 mL / beat
  • stroke volume index 40 – 85 mL / m2 / beat
  • systemic vascular resistance 900 – 1600 dynes / sec / cm to the negative 5
  • systemic vascular resistance index 1970 – 2390 dynes / sec / cm to the negative 5
  • systolic arterial pressure 90 – 140 mm Hg
  • diastolic arterial pressure 60 – 90 mm Hg
  • central venous pressure 2 – 6 mm Hg; 2.5 – 12 cm H2O
  • ejection fraction 60 – 75%
  • left arterial pressure 4 – 12 mm Hg
  • right atrial pressure 4 – 6 mm Hg
  • pulmonary artery systolic 15 – 30 mm Hg
  • pulmonary artery diastolic 5 – 15 mm Hg
  • pulmonary artery pressure 10 – 20 mm Hg
  • pulmonary artery wedge pressure 4 – 12 mm Hg
  • pulmonary artery end diastolic pressure 8 – 10 mm Hg
  • right ventricular end diastolic pressure 0 – 8 mm Hg

NEUROLOGICAL VALUES Back to top

Confirms or excludes the occurrence of a neurological disorder

  • cerebral perfusion pressure 70 – 90 mm Hg
  • intracranial pressure 5 – 15 mm Hg or 5 – 10 cm H2O

Tests performed in order to measure the pH and the amount of oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) present in a sample of blood. The results of the tests are used to evaluate lung function and aid to identify an acid-base imbalance. The sample may be taken from arterial or venous blood.

ARTERIAL VALUES Back to top

  • pH 7.35 – 7.45
  • PaCO2 35 – 45 mm Hg
  • HCO3 22 – 26 mEq/L
  • O2 saturation 96 – 100%
  • PaO2 85 – 100 mm Hg
  • BE -2 to +2 mmol/L

VENOUS VALUES Back to top

  • pH 7.31 – 7.41
  • PaCO2 41 – 51 mm Hg
  • HCO3 22 – 29 mEq/L
  • O2 saturation 60 – 85%
  • PaO2 30 – 40 mm Hg
  • BE 0 to +4 mmol/L

To know more about reference ranges for blood tests, click here.