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Preparation of serum and plasma samples for determination of tricyclic antidepressants: effects of blood collection tubes and storage

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring 8(4): 478-482
Preparation of serum and plasma samples for determination of tricyclic antidepressants: effects of blood collection tubes and storage
The effects were tested of eight common types of blood collection tubes and two types of "plasma separators" on the stability of the tricyclic antidepressants amitriptyline, imipramine, clomipramine, and their monodemethylated metabolites in venous blood samples. Although EDTA-containing Venoject lavender and Vacutainer lavender tubes seemed to give the most stable plasma samples, and Venoject red the most stable serum samples, the differences were too small to have practical consequences. Vacutainer royal blue collection tubes gave significant losses of greater than 20% of some of the substances. The tubes with serum separator gel or filter proved unsuitable, since they were responsible for losses of greater than 40%. The losses were not caused by redistribution between blood cells and plasma but occurred mainly as a result of contact between the contents and the caps of the tubes. Experiments with freezing, thawing, and storage of samples showed that freshly sampled blood could be stored at room temperature for 24 h in Venoject green tubes without significant losses. Serum samples could be stored at refrigerator temperature for 4 weeks without important losses. Freezing, thawing, and storage at -20 degrees C did not influence the serum or plasma concentrations.

Accession: 006173861

PMID: 3824436

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