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Comparison of Samples Obtained From 3.2% Sodium Citrate Glass and Two 3.2% Sodium Citrate Plastic Blood Collection Tubes Used in Coagulation Testing

Robert C. Gosselin CLS, Kim Janatpour MD, Edward C. Larkin MD, Yanlap P. Lee CLS, John T. Owings MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/7V2KP1HP9Q29BMN2 843-848 First published online: 1 December 2004


We sought to compare coagulation test results obtained from patients using 2 plastic blood collection tubes and the traditional glass blood collection tube. Blood specimens were obtained from 241 patients in 3.2% buffered sodium citrate using standard glass tubes, in 3.2% buffered sodium citrate in plastic tubes, and in 3.2% sodium citrate “sandwich” tubes (plastic within plastic). All samples were obtained and processed contemporaneously and tested for prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT). Residual plasma was frozen at –70°C for future testing, including fibrinogen, antithrombin, plasminogen, protein C and protein S (functional and antigenic), dilute Russell viper venom time (DRVVT), ristocetin cofactor, factor XIII, D dimer, anti-Xa activity, and prothrombin fragment.

Although paired t test analysis revealed statistically significant differences (P < .05) between glass and plastic for PT, aPTT, fibrinogen, protein C (functional and antigenic), functional protein S, DRVVT and confirmation method, antithrombin, and factor XIII, these differences were not considered clinically significant.

Key Words:
  • Glass tubes
  • Plastic tubes
  • Coagulation testing