Breakfast Can Affect Routine Hematology and Coagulation Laboratory Testing: An Evaluation on Behalf of COLABIOCLI WG-PRE-LATAM

TH Open. 2019 Dec 17;3(4):e367-e376. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-3401002. eCollection 2019 Oct.


Laboratories worldwide perform both hematological and coagulation testing on patients avoiding fasting time. In 2017, the Latin America Confederation of Clinical Biochemistry (COLABIOCLI) commissioned the Latin American Working Group for Preanalytical Phase (WG-PRE-LATAM) to study preanalytical variability and establish guidelines for preanalytical procedures to be applied by clinical laboratories and health care professionals. This study, on behalf of COLABIOCLI WG-PRE-LATAM, aims to evaluate the effect of the breakfast on routine hematology and coagulation laboratory testing. We studied 20 healthy volunteers who consumed a breakfast containing a standardized amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. We collected blood specimens for routine hematology and coagulation laboratory testing before breakfast and 1, 2, and 4 hours thereafter. Significant differences between samples were assessed by the Wilcoxon ranked-pairs test. Statistically significant differences ( p < 0.05) between basal and 4 hours after the breakfast were observed for red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, white blood cells, neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, mean platelet volume, and activated partial thromboplastin time. In conclusion, the significant variations observed in several hematological parameters, and activated partial thromboplastin time due to breakfast feeding demonstrate that the fasting time needs to be carefully considered prior to performing routine hematological and coagulation testing to avoid interpretive mistakes of test results, and to guarantee patient safety. Therefore, COLABIOCLI WG-PRE-LATAM encourages laboratory quality managers to standardize the fasting requirements in their laboratory, i.e., 12 hours.

Keywords: blood specimen collection; diagnostic errors; fasting; postprandial period; reproducibility of results.

Grant support

Funding None declared.