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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2013, Article ID 769479, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/769479
Clinical Study

Thrombin-Accelerated Quick Clotting Serum Tubes: An Evaluation with 22 Common Biochemical Analytes

Department of Pathology, Clinical Biochemistry Laboratories, Singapore General Hospital, Outram Road, Singapore 169608

Received 13 December 2012; Accepted 21 February 2013

Academic Editor: Frits R. Rosendaal

Copyright © 2013 Wai-Yoong Ng and Chin-Pin Yeo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Clot activator serum tubes have significantly improved turnaround times for result reporting compared to plain tubes. With increasing workload and service performance expectations confronting clinical laboratories with high-volume testing and with particular emphasis on critical analytes, attention has focussed on preanalytical variables that can be improved. We carried out a field study on the test performance of BD vacutainer rapid serum tubes (RSTs) compared to current institutional issued BD vacutainer serum separator tubes (SSTs) in its test result comparability, clotting time, and stability on serum storage. Data from the study population ( ) of patients attending outpatient clinics and healthy subjects showed that results for renal, liver, lipids, cardiac, thyroid, and prostate biochemical markers were comparable between RSTs and SSTs. Clotting times of the RSTs were verified to be quick with a median time of 2.05 min. Analyte stability on serum storage at 4°C showed no statistically significant deterioration except for bicarbonate, electrolytes, and albumin over a period of 4 days. In conclusion, RSTs offered savings in the time required for the clotting process of serum specimens. This should translate to further trimming of the whole process from blood collection to result reporting without too much sacrifice on test accuracy and performance compared to the current widely used SSTs in most clinical laboratories.