Interpretation of the complete blood count (CBC) parameters requires reliable biological variation (BV) data. The aims of this study were to appraise the quality of publications reporting BV data for CBC parameters by applying the BV Data Critical Appraisal Checklist (BIVAC) and to deliver global BV estimates based on BIVAC compliant studies. Relevant publications were identified by a systematic literature search and evaluated for their compliance with the 14 BIVAC criteria, scored as A, B, C or D, indicating decreasing compliance. Global CVI and CVG estimates with 95% CI were delivered by a meta-analysis approach using data from BIVAC compliant papers (grades A-C). In total, 32 studies were identified; four received a BIVAC grade A, 2 B, 20 C and 6 D. Meta-analysis derived CVI and CVG estimates were generally lower or in line with those published in a historical BV database available online. Except for reticulocytes, CVI estimates of erythrocyte related parameters were below 3%, whereas platelet (except MPV and PDW) and leukocyte related parameters ranged from 5% to 15%. A systematic review of CBC parameters has provided updated, global estimates of CVI and CVG that will be included in the newly published European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine BV Database.
- biological variation