Background: Pneumatic tube system (PTS) is an integral part of large medical facilities providing rapid interconnection between units within the hospital and often used to transport blood samples. The aim of our study was to compare a wide variety of hemostasis assays to identify assays sensitive to this transport method and diagnostic relevance of the alterations.
Methods: Routine coagulation and platelet tests (APTT, PT, TT, fibrinogen, light transmission aggregometry (LTA) with ADP, collagen, ristomycin and epinephrine), whole blood flow cytometry platelet function test (levels of CD42b, CD61, CD62P, PAC1, annexin V binding and mepacrine release) and global coagulation tests (thromboelastography (TEG), thrombin generation (TGT), thrombodynamics (TD), thrombodynamics-4D (TD-4D)) were determined in PTS- and manually transported samples of 10 healthy volunteers.
Results: There were no significant differences between the values of APTT, PT, TT or fibrinogen between the samples transported by PTS or manually. The results for LTA demonstrated increase in the collagen-induced aggregation (84 ± 7% versus 73 ± 5%), while the response to epinephrine was decreased (58 ± 20% versus 72 ± 7.4%). Flow cytometry-based platelet function test showed a pre-activation of platelets by PTS-transportation while all integral assays of coagulation tested in the present study (TEG, TGT, TD, TD-4D) demonstrated a hypercoagulation shift.
Conclusions: Transportation by PTS caused significant shifts in parameters of functional and integral assays that exceeded parameter variation values and sometimes even were comparable to normal ranges. The results obtained in this study indicate that using of PTS for such assays may cause sufficient alterations of results and can lead to patient's mistreatment.
Keywords: Assay variability; Flow cytometry; Integral assays of hemostasis; Platelet functional activity; Pneumatic tube transport; Thrombodynamics.
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