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Coagulation laboratory tests


Reviewer: Jeremy Parsons, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 20 June 2012, last major update June 2012
Copyright: (c) 2002-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Performed in almost all hospitals in US
● Necessary for diagnosis, treatment and management of bleeding and hypercoagulation disorders, to screen for coagulation disorders and to monitor anticoagulant therapy
● CAP requires laboratories to notify medical staff immediately if a critical value is obtained
● For critical values, CLIA requires laboratory to immediately alert individual or entity that requested the test, or if applicable, the individual responsible for using the test results


(a) tubes with 3.2% citrate are preferred over 3.8% citrate (higher concentration prolongs PT and PTT if tube not filled to the recommended level)
(b) do not draw specimens from indwelling catheters (which contain anticoagulants)
(c) if multiple tubes are drawn, draw coagulation tube after the red top and before the EDTA, heparin or oxalate/fluoride tubes
(d) try to fill the sample tube completely
(e) notify laboratory if patient is on anticoagulants and specify which ones
(f) donít delay transport of tubes to laboratory; if delay cannot be avoided, separate plasma or serum from cells as soon as possible; store plasma (or serum) on ice for up to 4 hours, or store frozen

Additional references

Arch Pathol Lab Med 2005;129:47

End of Coagulation > Coagulation laboratory tests > General

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