Dimauro, Corrado and Macciotta, Nicolò Pietro Paolo and Rassu, Salvatore Pier Giacomo and Patta, Cristiana and Pulina, Giuseppe (2009) A Bootstrap approach to estimate reference intervals of biochemical variables in sheep using reduced sample sizes. Small Ruminant Research, Vol. 83 (1-3), p. 34-41. ISSN 0921-4488. Article.
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Laboratory analyses represent a key element in veterinary medicine diagnosis providing objective information about the health status of a patient. Analytic data are interpreted by comparing them with a specific reference intervals previously determined on a reference population of healthy animals. The International Federation of Clinical Chemistry recommends the use of nonparametric methods and, as a consequence, a reference sample of at least 120 healthy subjects, to obtain reliable reference intervals. Such order of magnitude for the reference sample is not always feasible especially if the laboratory variable under study is affected by several sources of variation, e.g., environmental conditions, physiological status of the animal, age, or gender. A convenient method to estimate reference intervals should be able to avoid assumptions on the probability distribution of the considered variable and produce robust results even with a limited sample size.
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