Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

A reference frame for blood volume in children and adolescents

Ann Raes1*, Sarah Van Aken3, Margarita Craen3, Raymond Donckerwolcke2 and Johan Vande Walle1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatric Nephrology, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium

2 Department of Paediatric Nephrology, Academic Hospital Maastricht, Netherlands

3 Department of Paediatric Endocrinology, University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium

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BMC Pediatrics 2006, 6:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-6-3

Published: 17 February 2006



Our primary purpose was to determine the normal range and variability of blood volume (BV) in healthy children, in order to provide reference values during childhood and adolescence. Our secondary aim was to correlate these vascular volumes to body size parameters and pubertal stages, in order to determine the best normalisation parameter.


Plasma volume (PV) and red cell volume (RCV) were measured and F-cell ratio was calculated in 77 children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome in drug-free remission (mean age, 9.8 ± 4.6 y). BV was calculated as the sum of PV and RCV. Due to the dependence of these values on age, size and sex, all data were normalised for body size parameters.


BV normalised for lean body mass (LBM) did not differ significantly by sex (p < 0.376) or pubertal stage (p < 0.180), in contrast to normalisation for the other anthropometric parameters. There was no significant difference between reference values for children and adults.


LBM was the anthropometric index most closely correlated to vascular fluid volumes, independent of age, gender and pubertal stage.