Platelet count, indices (mean volume, young—immature platelet fraction) and aggregation are widely used laboratory parameters to investigate primary hemostasis. We performed a systematic, thorough evaluation of the influence of the time-interval since blood draw from 20 healthy individuals and of the anticoagulation of collected blood on such parameters. Blood was anticoagulated with citrate, K₂-ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and hirudin and analyzed 5, 30, 60, 120 and 180 min after blood draw. Multiple electrode aggregometry (MEA) was performed with either hirudin (half-diluted with NaCl) or citrate samples (half-diluted with NaCl or CaCl₂ 3mM). Platelet count and indices (Sysmex XN-20) were rather stable over time with EDTA blood. MEA results were lower with citrate blood than with hirudin blood; supplementation with calcium was partially compensatory. MEA results were also lower when performed less than 30 or more than 120 min after blood draw. Platelet clumping, quantitatively estimated with microscope examination of blood smears, was more important in hirudin blood than citrate or EDTA blood and could explain some of the differences observed between preanalytical variables. The results stress once more the importance of preanalytical variables in hemostasis laboratory testing. Decision thresholds based on those tests are only applicable within specific preanalytical conditions.
- platelet count
- Platelet function