BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The number of patients being referred for lifelong anticoagulant treatment has increased markedly in the last years. The prothrombin time test is sometimes difficult to perform the same day as sample collection. The aim of this study is to determine International Normalized Ratio (INR) and vitamin-K dependent factor levels of frozen plasma and plasma stored for up 48 hours. DESIGN AND METHODS: The INR of 84 patients receiving acenocoumarol were determined fresh (0 hours), on samples stored between 2 degrees C and 8 degrees C for 24 hours and 48 hours, and on frozen samples (-40 degrees C) using 4 different thromboplastin reagents (Thromboplastin IS; Thromborel; Simplastin; and Thromboplastin D+G). In addition, factors II, VII, IX, X were determined in 34 of these patients in all these situations. We used the interclass correlation coefficient to compare the results obtained at 0 hours and the results obtained in the subsequent measurements. Both measurement and proportional errors were also estimated by linear regression analysis. RESULTS: The correlation coefficient of the INR between fresh and frozen plasma was 0.98, 0.98, 0.92 and 0.97 for IS, Thromborel, Simplastin and D+G respectively. The correlation between 0 and 24 hours was 0. 98, 0.91, 0.95 and 0.85 for IS, Thromborel, Simplastin and D+G respectively. By 48 hours although IS still had r=0.94, Thromborel, Simplastin, and D+G had r=0.55, r=0.50 and r=0.81, respectively. By 24 hours in stored plasma and in frozen plasma the activity of vitamin-K dependent factors was slightly reduced (r=0.97 at 24h/r=0. 94 with frozen plasma for factor II, r=0.92/0.96 for factor VII, r=0. 83/0.98 for factor IX, and r=0.98/0.95 for factor X). By 48 hours however, significant reductions were noted in the activity of these factors (r=0.94 for factor II, r=0.88 for factor VII, r=0.70 for factor IX, and r=0.98 for factor X). INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: The INR can be reliable determined in frozen plasma and in plasma stored at 2-8 degrees C for up to 24 hours.
Vol. 84 No. 7 (1999): July, 1999 : Comparative Studies
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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