Sodium citrate blood contamination by K2 -ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA): Impact on routine coagulation testing

G Lima-Oliveira, G L Salvagno, E Danese, E J Favaloro, G C Guidi, G Lippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


INTRODUCTION: The potential cross-contamination of additives between primary blood tubes is a well-known problem during sample collection. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of citrated blood contamination with different amounts of dipotassium ethylenediaminetetraacetic (K2 EDTA blood) on activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT), and fibrinogen.

METHODS: Blood was collected from 15 ostensibly healthy volunteers into four 0.109 m citrate blood tubes followed by one K2 EDTA blood tube. The citrate tubes of each subject were pooled and divided in five aliquots. The whole blood of the K2 EDTA tube was then added in scalar amounts to autologous citrated blood aliquots, to obtain K2 EDTA contamination ranging from 0% to 43%, and thus mimic potential pre-analytical contamination.

RESULTS: A statistically and clinically significant prolongation was observed for both APTT and PT between 29% and 43% K2 EDTA contamination, whereas the decrease of fibrinogen values became statistically and clinically significant at 43% K2 EDTA contamination.

CONCLUSION: The results of this investigation show that contamination of citrated blood with as much as 29% of K2 EDTA blood generates a significant bias in results of routine clotting assays. This has serious implications for patient safety and management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Laboratory Hematology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


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