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SHORT COMMUNICATIONShort Centrifugation to Ameliorate Turn-Around-Time in Routine Coagulation Testing by Albrecht Pfaefflin, Karen Schuster, Ruediger Braun

Background: Fast and timely analysis of coagulation parameters is mandatory in hospital laboratories as the results are decisive for diagnosis and treatment in emergency patients. An important factor in TAT (turn-around time) prolongation is centrifugation of all samples prior to analysis. According to literature and most current SOPs (standard operation protocols) centrifugation time is given with 10 minutes at approximately 2,000 g and cannot be reduced without infringement of standards. Thus, we have attempted to minimize TAT by comparing coagulation test results achieved with 5 minutes centrifugation time vs. 10 minutes. If feasible, a shorter centrifugation time will result in further optimized TAT and therefore save critical time to treatment in emergency patients.
Methods: 96 routine clinical samples were tested for prothrombin time (“Quick”), activated partial prothrombin time (aPTT), thrombin time, fibrinogen, antithrombin III, and D-Dimer with 5 and 10 minutes centrifugation. 405 double measurements were performed.
Results: Correlation of results were for all 6 parameters  0.99. Deviation of the mean was lower than 3% for each parameter. 98.5% of results deviated less than 10%. Although the analysis results for prothrombin time and for antithrombin III show a formal significant difference via Student’s t-test, clinically, a difference is not evident.
Conclusions: Shortening of centrifugation time for coagulation testing seems to have no detrimental effects on the analysis results, and might be sought for routine coagulation testing to achieve shorter turn-around time.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170702