Article: PDF OnlyThe effect of time and temperature variables on routine coagulation testsAdcock, D.; Kressin, D.; Marlar, R. A.Author Information D. Adcock is with the Department of Pathology, Colorado Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado; D. Kressin and R. Marlar are with the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Denver VA Medical Center, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA. Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis: September 1998 - Volume 9 - Issue 6 - p 463-470 Buy Abstract This study evaluates the effects of time and temperature variables on routine coagulation assays [Prothrombin Time test and Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT) test]. Four different groups were studied: healthy volunteers, hospitalized patients not receiving anticoagulants, patients receiving oral anticoagulant therapy and patients receiving unfractionated heparin therapy. Samples were subjected to one of four conditions: (1) centrifuged immediately and stored at room temperature (20–22°C); (2) centrifuged immediately and stored on ice (4°C); (3) stored as whole blood without centrifugation, at room temperature and (4) stored without centrifugation, on ice. Coagulation tests were performed as soon as possible after phlebotomy and at specified times up to 24 h. Our data demonstrate that prothrombin time results are stable for up to 24 h, remaining constant regardless of storage conditions. APTT assays are stable for up to 8 h, except for patients receiving unfractionated heparin therapy. Heparinized samples, when stored uncentrifuged at room temperature, demonstrate a clinically significant shortening of the APTT and individual samples demonstrate a greater than 50% decrease in ex-vivo heparin levels at 4 h. © 1998 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.