Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 19, 2015

Long-term stability of glucose: 96-h study using Terumo Glycaemia tubes

Theresa Winter, Anne Greiser, Matthias Nauck and Astrid Petersmann


Background: Long transportation times of samples can occur due to centralization of laboratories, and also in, for instance epidemiological multicenter studies with one core laboratory. Unsatisfactory glycolysis inhibition is known to threaten the correct measurements of glucose concentration in patient samples. In former studies Terumo Glycaemia tubes proved to be superior to other anticoagulant systems for time periods of up to 24 h. We investigated long-term stability of glucose concentration in Terumo Glycaemia tubes for up to 96 h at room temperature and imitated transport conditions by continuous sample shaking.

Methods: Human venous blood samples were collected from 40 healthy blood donors using Terumo Glycaemia tubes. Immediately after sampling, tubes were mixed according to the manufactures recommendations. To simulate transportation conditions samples were placed on a shaker for the entire study period and maintained at room temperature. Samples were (re)centrifuged at 0, 24, 36, 48, 72 and 96 h prior to measuring glucose concentration. The glucose concentration at 0 h was used as baseline for evaluation of long-term stability.

Results: The recovery of glucose was 100% throughout the study, including the 96-h measurements. Deviations of single glucose measurements were within the imprecision of the measurement procedure.

Conclusions: Terumo Glycaemia tubes can effectively stabilize glucose in whole blood samples kept at room temperature on a shaker during a 96-h time period. Therefore, we consider Terumo Glycaemia tubes as a suitable glucose stabilizing tube for long intervals between sample collection and glucose quantification.

Corresponding author: Dr. rer. nat. Theresa Winter, Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, University Medicine Greifswald, Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Str., 17475 Greifswald, Germany, Phone: +49 3834 865541, Fax: +49 3834 865502, E-mail:


1. Bruns DE, Knowler WC. Stabilization of glucose in blood samples: why it matters. Clin Chem 2009;55:850–2.Search in Google Scholar

2. Gambino R. Sodium fluoride: an ineffective inhibitor of glycolysis. Ann Clin Biochem 2013;50:3–5.Search in Google Scholar

3. Gambino R, Piscitelli J, Ackattupathil TA, Theriault JL, Andrin RD, Sanfilippo ML, et al. Acidification of blood is superior to sodium fluoride alone as an inhibitor of glycolysis. Clin Chem 2009;55:1019–21.Search in Google Scholar

4. Peake MJ, Bruns DE, Sacks DB, Horvath AR. It’s time for a better blood collection tube to improve the reliability of glucose results. Diabetes Care 2013;36:e2.Search in Google Scholar

5. Sacks DB, Bruns DE, Goldstein DE, Maclaren NK, McDonald JM, Parrott M. Guidelines and recommendations for laboratory analysis in the diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus. Clin Chem 2002;48:436–72.Search in Google Scholar

6. Fobker M. Stability of glucose in plasma with different anticoagulants. Clin Chem Lab Med 2014;52:1057–60.Search in Google Scholar

7. Uchida K, Matuse R, Toyoda E, Okuda S, Tomita S. A new method of inhibiting glycolysis in blood samples. Clin Chim Acta 1988;172:101–8.Search in Google Scholar

8. Bowen RA, Remaley AT. Interferences from blood collection tube components on clinical chemistry assays. Biochem Med (Zagreb) 2014;24:31–44.Search in Google Scholar

9. Turchiano M, Nguyen C, Fierman A, Lifshitz M, Convit A. Impact of blood sample collection and processing methods on glucose levels in community outreach studies. J Environ Public Health 2013;2013:256151.Search in Google Scholar

10. Li G, Cabanero M, Wang Z, Wang H, Huang T, Alexis H, et al. Comparison of glucose determinations on blood samples collected in three types of tubes. Ann Clin Lab Sci 2013;43:278–84.Search in Google Scholar

11. Stahl M, Jorgensen LG, Hyltoft Petersen P, Brandslund I, de Fine Olivarius N, Borch-Johnsen K. Optimization of preanalytical conditions and analysis of plasma glucose. 1. Impact of the new WHO and ADA recommendations on diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 2001;61:169–79.Search in Google Scholar

12. Revision of the “Guideline of the German Medical Association on Quality Assurance in Medical Laboratory Examinations – Rili-BAEK”. J Lab Med 2015;39:26–69.Search in Google Scholar

13. Institute CaLS. Expression of measurement uncertainty in laboratory medicine; approved guideline. Wayne, PA: Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), 2012.Search in Google Scholar

14. van den Berg SA, Thelen MH, Salden LP, van Thiel SW, Boonen KJ. It takes acid, rather than ice, to freeze glucose. Sci Rep 2015;5:8875.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2015-6-11
Accepted: 2015-7-22
Published Online: 2015-8-19
Published in Print: 2016-3-1

©2016 by De Gruyter