Is it acceptable to use coagulation plasma samples stored at room temperature and 4°C for 24 hours for additional prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, antithrombin, and D-dimer testing?

Int J Lab Hematol. 2017 Oct;39(5):475-481. doi: 10.1111/ijlh.12664. Epub 2017 May 10.


Introduction: Coagulation laboratories are faced on daily basis with requests for additional testing in already analyzed fresh plasma samples. This prompted us to examine whether plasma samples stored at room temperature (RT), and 4°C for 24 hours can be accepted for additional prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), fibrinogen (Fbg), antithrombin (AT), and D-dimer testing.

Methods: We measured PT, aPTT, Fbg in 50 and AT in 30 plasma samples with normal and pathological values, within 4 hours of blood collection (baseline results) and after 24-hours storage at RT (primary tubes), and 4°C (aliquots). D-dimer stability was investigated in 20 samples stored in primary tubes at 4°C.

Results: No statistically significant difference between baseline results and results in samples stored at RT and 4°C was observed for PT (P=.938), aPTT (P=.186), Fbg (P=.962), AT (P=.713), and D-dimers (P=.169). The highest median percentage changes were found for aPTT, being more pronounced for samples stored at 4°C (13.0%) than at RT (8.7%).

Conclusion: Plasma samples stored both at RT and 4°C for 24 hours are acceptable for additional PT, Fbg, and AT testing. Plasma samples stored 24 hours in primary tubes at 4°C are suitable for D-dimer testing.

Keywords: 24-hours plasma stability; D-dimer; antithrombin; routine coagulation tests; storage temperature.

MeSH terms

  • Antithrombins
  • Blood Coagulation Tests / methods
  • Blood Coagulation Tests / standards*
  • Blood Coagulation*
  • Blood Preservation / methods*
  • Blood Preservation / standards*
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • Fibrinogen
  • Humans
  • Partial Thromboplastin Time
  • Plasma*
  • Prothrombin Time
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Temperature*
  • Time Factors


  • Antithrombins
  • Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products
  • fibrin fragment D
  • Fibrinogen