Effect of blood collection tube types on the measurement of human epidermal growth factor

J Immunoassay Immunochem. 2007;28(1):47-60. doi: 10.1080/15321810601026091.


We observed significant differences in measured human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) levels for the same individual's serum/plasma samples between different tube types (glass, polystyrene, plastic with clot activator, plastic without clot activator, plastic with EDTA, polypropylene tubes). For all individuals, hEGF levels in plasma were found to be below the detection limit. The discrepancy of the hEGF levels in serum and plasma was attributed to the platelet derived EGF by analyzing platelet lyzate with size exclusion chromotography and demonstrating the immunoreactivity of the fractions corresponding to the pre-proEGF and/or proEGF elution time. Besides, samples of females showed much higher EGF levels than those of males in certain test tube types. As a conclusion, all blood samples should be taken and stored in the same type of test tubes in order to make precise measurements for hEGF. And, the measured hEGF level in blood is susceptible to changes with blood clotting.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Blood Specimen Collection / instrumentation*
  • Blood Specimen Collection / methods*
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Polypropylenes


  • Polypropylenes
  • Epidermal Growth Factor