Effects of contamination of blood specimens with liquid potassium-EDTA anticoagulant

Ann Clin Biochem 2002;39:273-280
© 2002 Association for Clinical Biochemistry


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Original Articles

D Fraser Davidson

Biochemistry Department Crosshouse Hospital Kilmarnock KA2 0BE Scotland, UK

Background Use of the anticoagulant EDTA, in high-concentration liquid form, in blood collection tubes can lead to cross-contamination of routine biochemistry specimens. Methods In the present study, tests affected by EDTA in the sample were potassium, calcium, magnesium, unsaturated iron-binding capacity, bicarbonate, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, alkaline phosphatase and amylase. The likely mechanisms are discussed. Conclusions In the interests of best practice,the identification of subtle contamination of blood specimensfor biochemical analysis requires a sensitive method for measurementof EDTA itself.

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