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Interferences on Serum samples and it preservation. Compiled by: Thamer Hamdan M.Sc. Clinical Microbiology and Immunology. Interference occurs when a substance or process falsely alters an assay result. Interferences are classified as endogenous or exogenous.

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interferences on serum samples and it preservation

Interferences on Serum samples and it preservation

Compiled by: ThamerHamdan

M.Sc. Clinical Microbiology and Immunology

slide2

Interference occurs when a substance or process falsely alters an assay result.

  • Interferences are classified as endogenous or exogenous.
  • Endogenous interference originates from substances present in the patient’s own specimen.
  • Exogenous interferences are substances introduced into the patient’s specimen
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Endogenous interference originates from substances found naturally in the patient sample. They may be natural substances or health-related factors:

-haemolysis (haemoglobin and other substances) (reddish).

-bilirubin (Icteric) (yellowish).

-Lipids, proteins, antibodies (autoantibodies, heterophile antibodies).

-excessive analyte concentration, and cross-reacting substances.

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Exogenous interference results from substances not naturally found in the patient’s specimen including

-Drugs (parent drug, metabolites, and additives),

- poisons, herbal products, IV fluids, substances used as therapy.

- It may also arise from collection tube components, test sample additives such as preservatives.

-Processes affecting the sample (e.g. transport, storage, and centrifugation).

-Clots (post-refrigeration in heparin plasma, slow-clotting serum).

- Carryover contamination.

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Hemolysis is the breakage of the red blood cell’s (RBC’s) membrane, causing the release of the hemoglobin and other internal components into the surrounding fluid. Hemolysis is visually detected by showing a pink to red tinge in serum or plasma.

  • Hemolysis is a common occurrence seen in serum samples and may compromise the laboratory’s test parameters. Hemolysis can occur from two sources:
  • In-vivo hemolysis may be due to pathological conditions, such as autoimmune hemolyticanemia or transfusion reaction.
  • In-vitro hemolysis may be due to improper specimen collection, specimen processing, or specimen transport.
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Specimen collection:

  • An improper choice in the venipuncture site.
  • Prolonged tourniquet time causes the interstitial fluid to leak into the tissue and cause hemolysis.
  • Cleansing the venipuncture site with alcohol and not allowing the site to dry may cause hemolysis.
  • An improper venipuncture, indicated by a slow blood flow, may indicate occlusion due to the lumen of the needle being too close to the inner wall of the vein, causing hemolysis.
  • The use of a small-bore needle.
  • The use of a large bore needle.
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Specimen Processing:

• Vigorous mixing or shaking of a specimen may cause hemolysis.

• Not allowing the serum specimen to clot for the recommended amount of time can result in fibrin formation in the serum. The use of applicator sticks to dislodge the fibrin may cause rupture of RBCs, resulting in hemolysis.

• Prolonged contact of serum or plasma with cells may result in hemolysis.

• Exposure to excessive heat or cold can cause RBC rupture and hemolysis.

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Specimen Transport:

  • length, speed, and number of times the specimen is transported.

Effects of hemolysis

  • Test results from all laboratory disciplines can be affected by hemolysis, especially in chemistry.
  • Hemolysis may cause certain analytes to be increased due to leakage of red cell constituents (e.g., lactate dehydrogenase and potassium),
  • or may cause interference in the test method (e.g., spectrophotometric methods).
  • The amount of interference will depend on the degree of hemolysis and on the specific test method being used. Hemolysis is a common cause of specimen rejection in laboratories, which requires the specimen to be redrawn.
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Preservation of serum:

-for short term storage: refrigerator

-for long term storage: Freezer or deep freeze