Influence of 8 and 24-h storage of whole blood at ambient temperature on prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, thrombin time, antithrombin and D-dimer

Blood Coagul Fibrinolysis. 2011 Apr;22(3):215-20. doi: 10.1097/MBC.0b013e328343f8bf.


This study evaluates the effect of whole blood storage on common coagulation parameters in order to confirm or revise acceptable storage limits as defined by current guidelines and diverse study reports. Aliquots were taken from the citrated whole blood of inpatients and outpatients (n = 147) within 4 h after blood withdrawal and after extended storage of whole blood for 8 and 24 h at ambient temperature. Aliquots were centrifuged and analyzed for prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), fibrinogen (Fbg), antithrombin (AT), thrombin time (TT) and D-dimer. For each parameter, samples from 33-56 patients were investigated covering a wide range of normal and pathological values. Samples from patients receiving heparin were excluded from analyses of APTT and TT. All assays were performed using reagents and an analyzer from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Products GmbH. The mean percentage change after 8 and 24-h storage was below 10% for all parameters. Considering the changes in individual samples, all parameters can be reliably tested after 8-h storage, since less than 15% of the samples demonstrated individual changes of above 10%. The acceptable storage time can be extended to 24 h for PT, TT and D-dimer. Clinically relevant changes were detected after 24-h storage for APTT: 41% of the investigated samples demonstrated changes of above 10%. After 24-h storage, changes for Fbg and AT values were more than 15% in five out of 49 and in three out of 45 samples, respectively. This sporadic increase of values is clinically acceptable except for borderline samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antithrombin Proteins / metabolism
  • Blood Preservation / methods*
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products / metabolism
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Prothrombin Time
  • Temperature
  • Thrombin Time
  • Time Factors


  • Antithrombin Proteins
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D
  • Fibrinogen