Effect on routine and special coagulation testing values of citrate anticoagulant adjustment in patients with high hematocrit values

Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Sep;126(3):400-5. doi: 10.1309/RRQKT2JEYV33D19D.


Recommendations to adjust citrate concentration for blood coagulation specimens with high hematocrit values are based on indirect experimental studies and not direct studies of patient samples with high hematocrit values. We compared the effect of adjusted and non-adjusted citrate concentrations on coagulation test results in samples from 28 patients with high hematocrit values (55%-72% [0.55-0.72]). Prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) results from nonadjusted and adjusted samples were statistically different and exponentially increased with increasing hematocrit values. Results for fibrinogen, factor VIII, and protein C activity were statistically different and increased linearly with increasing hematocrit values; however, the difference was not as clinically significant. The protein C antigen value increased with increasing hematocrit values but was not significant. The effects on PT and aPTT are due to a dilutional effect of plasma and an interference effect of the higher final citrate concentration on the clotting test result. For patients with high hematocrit values, citrate concentrations must be adjusted for accurate results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anticoagulants / pharmacology*
  • Blood Coagulation Tests*
  • Citric Acid / pharmacology*
  • Factor VIII / analysis
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Hematocrit*
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Protein C / analysis
  • Prothrombin Time


  • Anticoagulants
  • Protein C
  • Citric Acid
  • Factor VIII
  • Fibrinogen