A meta-analysis of leptin reference ranges in the healthy paediatric prepubertal population

Ann Clin Biochem 2009;46:65-72
© 2009 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Original Articles

Allison A Venner1,2,
Patricia K Doyle-Baker1,
Martha E Lyon3,4,5,6 and
Tak S Fung7

1 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary;
2 Department of Medical Sciences, University of Calgary;
3 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary;
4 Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, University of Calgary;
5 Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary;
6 Calgary Laboratory Services;
7 Department of Information Technologies, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

Corresponding author: Allison A Venner Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta. T2 N 1N4 CANADA. Email: aavenner{at}ucalgary.ca

Objective: The initial discovery of leptin (1994) has given rise to a substantialnumber of published studies. This study aimed at identifyingthe published data on the reference ranges of total, free andbound leptin concentration in the healthy prepubertal population.

Methods: A search was conducted on original English language studies published from 1994 to 2005 in the following databases: PubMed (n = 58), EMBASE (n = 4), Biological Abstracts (n = 2) and Science Finder Scholar (n = 66). A cited reference search was completedin Science Citation Index on studies with a leptin range. Ameta-analysis was completed on included studies containing adataset and a sample size for a leptin concentration range and/ormean±standard deviation for a healthy prepubertal population.Preanalytical and analytical variations were examined. Preanalyticalvariables included aspects such as fasting state and gender,while analytical variation comprised the type of leptin assaymethodology.

Results: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. One study examined free leptin; 11 studies examined total concentration. No studies reported leptin reference ranges established by Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) criteria, although four studies reported specific study leptin ranges. The methodology of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated a wider leptin range than radio immunoassay (0.56–36.35 vs. 1.01–12.21 ng/mL). Males had a significantly lower mean leptin concentration than females (P = 0.0006); obese children had a higher concentration than non-obese (P = 0.0001).

Conclusion: No studies have established CLSI-based leptin reference rangesin prepubertal healthy children and there is a wide variationin the published leptin concentrations. These differences suggestthat caution should be used in the interpretation and comparisonbetween studies.

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