Background: Delayed sample processing can affect accurate glucose measurement. Our aim was to investigate the stability of glucose in samples collected in serum, sodium fluoride/potassium oxalate (NaF/KOx) and Glucomedics tubes processed according to different controlled pre-centrifugation delays (up to 180 min after venipuncture) in order to simulate prolonged sample transport between venipuncture and centrifugation.
Methods: Samples were collected from healthy volunteers (n=80) into either serum or NaF/KOx and Glucomedics tubes. Glucose concentration was measured in samples centrifuged immediately after venipuncture and compared with tubes processed with a delay of 60, 120 and 180 min prior to centrifugation. Differences between baseline and respective delayed centrifugation glucose value for each tube type were tested using the paired t-test. Mean bias calculated for each tube type and delay protocol was compared to recommended quality specifications for glucose (2.2%).
Results: Glucose concentrations measured in all three delayed tube types were lower in comparison to respective baseline glucose concentrations measured in immediately processed tube (p<0.001). The highest decrease in glucose was observed in serum tubes in all specified time points (p<0.001), while glucose was most stable in Glucomedics tubes (p<0.001). The decrease in glucose observed for serum and NaF/KOx tubes was clinically significant at all specified time points while the bias for Glucomedics tubes did not exceed the criteria even with a centrifugation delay of 180 min.
Conclusions: Glucose stability in un-centrifuged Glucomedics tubes is much superior to serum and NaF/KOx tubes. Glucomedics tubes can be left un-centrifuged for up to 3 h without affecting glucose concentration.
We thank Marija Culjak for her technical skills in performing all venipunctures.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: This study was supported by the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports, Republic of Croatia (project number: 134-1340227-0200).
Employment or leadership: None declared.
Honorarium: None declared.
Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.
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