Storage of serum or whole blood samples? Effects of time and temperature on 22 serum analytes

Institut für Klinische Chemie und Laboratoriumsdiagnostik der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.
European journal of clinical chemistry and clinical biochemistry: journal of the Forum of European Clinical Chemistry Societies (Impact Factor: 1.49). 04/1995; 33(4):231-8. DOI: 10.1515/cclm.1995.33.4.231
Source: PubMed


Information on the stability of serum analytes during storage of serum or whole blood samples is often incomplete and sometimes contradictory. Using a widely available analyser (Hitachi 737/Boehringer), we therefore determined the effects of storage time and temperature on the measured concentrations of the following serum analytes: sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, inorganic phosphate, magnesium, creatinine, urea, uric acid, bilirubin, cholesterol, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, creatine kinase, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyltransferase, alkaline phosphatase, α-amylase, lactate dehydrogenase and cholinesterase. When separated serum was stored at + 9 °C for seven days, the mean changes in inorganic phosphate and lactate dehydrogenase exceeded significantly (p < 0.05 or 0.001, respectively) the maximum allowable inaccuracy according to the Guidelines of the German Federal Medical Council; all other quantities were sufficiently stable. In serum at room temperature, inorganic phosphate, uric acid, HDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerols increased continuously, whereas bilirubin, LDL-cholesterol, creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase decreased more than the guidelines permit during the storage period (p < 0.05 for asparate aminotransferase, p < 0.001 for the other analytes mentioned). In whole blood stored for 7 days at + 9 °C, only the following serum analytes satisfied the stability requirements of the guidelines: calcium, urea, cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, creatine kinase, γ-glutamyltransferase and cholinesterase. When stored at room temperature, only sodium, uric acid, bilirubin, cholesterol, triacylglycerols, aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, m-amylase and cholinesterase were still stable after 3 days. The data collected show that all quantities examined are sufficiently stable for four days in separated serum stored at + 9 °C.

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