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International System of Units (SI Units)

Systme International dUnits, or SI units, are an extension of the meter, kilogram,


second, ampere (MKSA) system proposed in 1950. In 1966, the International Federation
of Clinical Chemistry (IFCC) recommended the use of selected, or favored, SI units for
the clinical laboratory: whenever possible, use mole and liter units to express concentration, and express whole-unit multiples of three as powers of ten (eg, millimole = 103
moles, micromole = 106 moles, nanomole = 109 moles, picomole = 1012 moles). This
approach was designed to provide clearer quantitative relationships among molecular
species and some standardization of databases.
This partial application of SI units to laboratory data has been accepted by many scientific
journals and is used increasingly in day-to-day clinical medicine. The operative words
are whenever possible. In many instances the molecular weight or the homogeneity of
the measured analyte is not clear, and gravimetric units rather than molar units are preferred.
With regard to laboratory reports, we remain in a transition state between conventional
(gravimetric) units and SI units. Quest Diagnostics is moving to SI units but continues to
use selected conventional units during what has become a prolonged transition period.
For your convenience, we have included a guide for interconversion of conventional and
SI units, along with definitions of abbreviations used. The following table lists gravimetric and possible international unitage for a variety of laboratory tests. The conversion
factor (CF) is used as follows:
gravimetric CF = international unit
international CF = gravimetric unit
Definition
bone collagen equivalent
creatinine
day
deciliter
gram
hour
international units
katal (mol/s)
liter
milligram
minute
milliliter
milliliter/hour
mole
millimole
milli international units
nanogram
picogram
picomole
second
units
microgram
micromole
microunits
year

SI Units

Abbreviation
BCE
creat
d
dL
g
h
IU
kat
L
mg
min
mL
mL/h
mol
mmol
mIU
ng
pg
pmol
s
U
g
mol
U
y

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Part 4
Gravimetric
Unit
ACTH
pg/mL
Albumin
g/dL
g/dL
Aldosterone, S
ng/dL
Aldosterone, U
g/24 h
Alkaline Phosphatase, Bone Specific g/L
Alpha Subunit
ng/mL
3-Androstanediol Glucuronide
ng/dL
Androstenedione
ng/dL
Angiotensin Converting Enzyme
U/L
Angiotensin II
ng/L
1,5-Anhydroglucitol (1,5-AG)
g/mL
Anti-Mllerian Hormone
ng/mL
Apolipoprotein A1
mg/dL
Apolipoprotein B
mg/dL
Arginine Vasopressin
pg/mL
B-Type Natriuretic Peptide
pg/mL
C-peptide, 24-h U
g/g creat
C-Peptide, S
ng/mL
Calcitonin
pg/mL
Calcium, Ionized
mg/dL
Calcium, S
mg/dL
Calcium, U
mg/24 h
mg/g creat
mg/mg creat
Catecholamines, P
Epinephrine
pg/mL
Norepinephrine
pg/mL
Dopamine
pg/mL
Catecholamines, U
Epinephrine
g/24 h
Norepinephrine
g/24 h
Dopamine
g/24 h
Epinephrine
g/g creat
Norepinephrine
g/g creat
Dopamine
g/g creat
Cholesterol, HDL
mg/dL
Cholesterol, HDL Subclasses
mg/dL
Cholesterol, LDL, Direct
mg/dL
Analyte

Conversion
Factor
0.22
0.01
10
0.0277
2.77
1.0
1.0
0.0213
0.0349
0.017
1.0
6.0918
7.1429
0.01
0.01
0.926
1.0
0.0377
0.333
1.0
0.25
0.25
0.025
2.828
2.828

International
Unit
pmol/L
mg/L
g/L
nmol/L
nmol/d
g/L
g/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
Kat/L
ng/L
mol/L
pmol/L
g/L
g/L
pmol/L
ng/L
nmol/mmol creat
nmol/L
ng/L
mmol/L
mmol/L
mmol/d
mmol/mol creat
mmol/mmol creat

5.454
5.914
6.524

pmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L

5.454
5.914
6.524
0.617
0.669
0.738
0.0259
0.0259
0.0259

nmol/d
nmol/d
nmol/d
mol/mol creat
mol/mol creat
mol/mol creat
mmol/L
mmol/L
mmol/L

S, serum; U, urine; P, plasma; ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone.


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International System of Units (SI Units)


Conversion
Factor
0.0259
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.0289
1.0
17.18
27.6
2.76
0.3122
27.6
0.0277
2.774
88.4
8.84
1.0
1.0
0.0303
0.0289
25.48
0.0347
0.0035
0.3922
0.0271
0.0344
3.440
3.67
3.67
1.0

International
Unit
mmol/L
g/L
nmol BCE/
mmol creat
ng/L
nmol/L
ng/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
nmol/d
mol/mol creat
nmol/L
mol/L
mmol/d
mol/L
mmol/d
mol/L
mg/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
mol/d
mol/mol creat
mol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L
ng/L

3.699
3.67
3.47
3.699
2.730
1.0
1.0

pmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L
mol/L
IU/L

SI Units

Gravimetric
Unit
Cholesterol, Total
mg/dL
Chromogranin A
ng/mL
Collagen Cross-Linked
nmol BCE/
N-Telopeptide (NTx)
mmol creat
Collagen Type 1 C-Telopeptide (CTx) pg/mL
Corticosterone
ng/dL
Corticotropin Releasing Hormone
pg/mL
Cortisol Binding Globulin
mg/L
Cortisol, Free, S
g/dL
Cortisol, Free, U
g/24 h
g/g creat
Cortisol, S and Saliva
g/dL
Cortisone, S
g/dL
Cortisone, U
g/24 h
Creatinine
mg/dL
g/24 h
Cyclic AMP, Urine
nmol/mL
Cystatin C
mg/L
Deoxycorticosterone
ng/dL
11-Deoxycortisol
ng/dL
Dexamethasone
ng/dL
DHEA
ng/dL
g/24 h
g/g creat
DHEA Sulfate
g/dL
Dihydrotestosterone
ng/dL
Dihydrotestosterone, Free
pg/mL
Estradiol (E2), Free
pg/mL
Estradiol (E2), S
pg/mL
Estrogen, Total, S
pg/mL
Estrogens, Fractionated, S
Estrone
pg/mL
Estradiol
pg/mL
Estriol
ng/mL
Estrone (E1), S
pg/mL
Estrone Sulfate
pg/mL
Fructosamine
mol/L
FSH
mIU/mL
Analyte

S, serum; U, urine; P, plasma; DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone; FSH, follicle stimulating hormone.

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Part 4

Analyte
GAD-65 Antibodies
Gastrin
Glucagon
Glucose, S
Growth Hormone
Growth Hormone Binding Protein
hCG, Beta Subunit
hCG, Total
5-HIAA
Histamine
Plasma or whole blood
Urine
Homovanillic Acid
17-Hydroxycorticosteroids
18-Hydroxycorticosterone
6-Hydroxycortisol
18-Hydroxycortisol
21-Hydroxylase Antibody
17-Hydroxypregnenolone
17-Hydroxyprogesterone
Hydroxyproline
Hyperglycosylated hCG (h-hCG)
IA-2 Antibody
IGFBP-1
IGFBP-2
IGFBP-3
IGF-I
IGF-II
Inhibin A
Inhibin B
Insulin Antibodies
Insulin, Free
Insulin, Total

Gravimetric
Unit
U/mL
pg/mL
pg/mL
mg/dL
ng/mL
pmol/L
mIU/mL
mIU/mL
mg/24 h
mg/g creat

Conversion
Factor
1.0
1.0
1.0
0.0555
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
5.23
0.592

International
Unit
kU/L
ng/L
ng/L
mmol/L
g/L
pmol/L
IU/L
IU/L
mol/d
mol/mmol

ng/mL
g/g creat
mg/24 h
mg/24 h
mg/g creat
mg/24 h
mg/g creat
ng/dL
g/24 h
g/24 h
U/mL
ng/dL
ng/dL
mg/dL
pg/mL
U/mL
ng/mL
ng/mL
mg/L
ng/mL
ng/mL
pg/mL
pg/mL
U/mL
IU/mL
IU/mL

8.997
1.018
8.997
5.49
0.621
2.76
0.312
0.0276
2.642
2.642
1.0
0.0301
0.0303
76.3
0.0255
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
7.175
7.175

nmol/L
nmol/mmol creat
mol/d
mol/d
mol/mmol creat
mol/d
mmol/mol creat
nmol/L
nmol/d
nmol/d
kU/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
mol/L
pmol/L
kU/L
g/L
g/L
mg/L
g/L
g/L
ng/L
ng/L
kU/L
pmol/L
pmol/L

S, serum; U, urine; P, plasma; GAD-65, glutamic acid decarboxylase-65; hCG, human chorionic
gonadotropin; 5-HIAA, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid; IGFBP, IGF binding protein; IGF, insulin-like
growth factor.
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International System of Units (SI Units)


Conversion
Factor
3.47
0.392
1.0
1.0
0.01
1.0
0.4114
0.0411
4.6542

International
Unit
mol/d
mol/mmol creat
g/L
IU/L
g/L
g/L
mmol/L
mmol/d
mmol/mol creat

pg/mL
pg/mL
pg/mL

5.07
5.46
5.26

pmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L

Osmolality, S

g/24 h
g/24 h
g/24 h
g/g creat
g/g creat
g/g creat
mg/24 h
g/min
mg/g creat
g/mg creat
mOsm/kg

5.07
5.46
5.26
0.574
0.617
0.595
1.0
1.0
0.113
0.113
1.0

Osmolality, U

mOsm/kg

1.0

nmol/d
nmol/d
nmol/d
nmol/mmol creat
nmol/mmol creat
nmol/mmol creat
mg/d
g/min
mg/mmol creat
g/mol creat
mmol osmotically
active particles/kg
H2O
mmol osmotically
active particles/kg
H2O
g/L
g/L
ng/L
g/L/h
ng/Ls
mg/L
nmol/d
mol/mol creat
nmol/L
nmol/L

17-Ketosteroids
Leptin
LH (Luteinizing Hormone)
Lipoprotein (a)
Macroprolactin
Magnesium, S
Magnesium, U
Metanephrines, P
Metanephrine
Normetanephrine
Total
Metanephrines, U
Metanephrine
Normetanephrine
Total
Metanephrine
Normetanephrine
Total
Microalbumin, U

Osteocalcin

ng/mL
ng/dL
Pancreatic Polypeptide
pg/mL
Plasma Renin Activity (PRA)
ng/mL/h
ng/mL/h
Prealbumin
g/dL
Pregnanetriol
g/24 h
g/g creat
Pregnenolone
ng/dL
Procollagen Type I Intact N-Terminal g/L
Propeptide

1.0
0.01
1.0
1.0
0.2778
0.01
2.97
0.336
0.0316
0.0286

SI Units

Gravimetric
Unit
mg/24 h
mg/g creat
ng/mL
mIU/mL
mg/dL
ng/mL
mg/dL
mg/24 h
mg/g creat

Analyte

S, serum; U, urine; P, plasma.


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Part 4

Analyte
Progesterone
Proinsulin
Prolactin
Prolactin, Monomeric
PTH, Intact
PTH-Related Protein (PTH-RP)
Serotonin
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
Somatostatin
T3, Free
T3, Reverse
T3, Total
T4, Free
T4, Total
TBG
Testosterone, Bioavailable
Testosterone, Free
Testosterone, Total
Testosterone, Urine
Tetrahydroaldosterone
Thyroglobulin
Thyroglobulin Antibody
Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody
(Anti-TPO)
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
Triglycerides
Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide
Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)
Vitamin D, 1,25-Dihydroxy
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy
VMA, Urine

Gravimetric
Unit
ng/mL
ng/dL
pg/mL
ng/mL
ng/mL
pg/mL
pg/mL
ng/mL
nmol/L
pg/mL
pg/dL
pg/mL
ng/dL
ng/dL
ng/dL
g/dL
g/mL
ng/dL
pg/mL
ng/dL
g/24 h
g/g creat
g/24 h
g/g creat
ng/mL
IU/mL

Conversion
Factor
3.18
0.0318
0.1134
0.04348
0.04348
0.1061
1.0
5.675
1.0
0.611
0.0154
1.5362
0.0154
0.0154
12.87
12.87
0.0185
0.0347
3.47
0.0347
3.47
0.3922
1.0
0.113
1.0
1.0

International
Unit
nmol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
ng/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
mol/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
nmol/d
mol/mol creat
g/d
g/mmol creat
g/L
kIU/L

IU/mL
mIU/L
mg/dL
pg/mL
ng/mL
pg/mL
ng/mL
mg/24 h
mg/g creat

1.0
1.0
0.0113
1.0
2.5211
2.400
2.496
5.05
0.571

kIU/L
mIU/L
mmol/L
ng/L
nmol/L
pmol/L
nmol/L
mol/d
mmol/mol creat

S, serum; U, urine; P, plasma; TBG, thyroxine binding globulin; VMA, vanillylmandelic acid.

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