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Journal of Automated Methods and Management in Chemistry
Volume 22, Issue 4, Pages 109-112

Hirudin as an anticoagulant for both haematology and chemistry tests

1Departments of Laboratory Medicine, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan
2Departments of Clinical Hematology, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, Japan

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Hirudin, an extract from the leech, has powerful antithrombin activity affecting the blood coagulation pathway. We evaluated the usefulness of hirudin in anticoagulating specimens for routine laboratory tests. Results using blood anticoagulated with hirudin corresponded well with results with blood treated with ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) in the complete blood count (CBC), including white blood cell (WBC) differential count and morphology of blood cells, when CBC was performed within 2 h of blood collection. Clinical chemistry results from hirudin-treated samples were similar to results obtained with serum specimens. Thus, hirudin may be a useful anticoagulant for emergency laboratory medicine.