Do elevated hematocrits prolong the PT/aPTT?

Melissa Austin, Chris Ferrell, Morayma Reyes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines require special processing of whole blood specimens with hematocrits greater than 55% due to the possibility of spurious prolongation of routine coagulation studies (PT, aPTT). As samples with hematocrits above 60% are rare at our institution, our study seeks to determine the effect of relative citrate excess on routine coagulation studies in samples with hematocrits of 60% to determine whether special processing is necessary. A calculated volume of 3.2% citrate was added to 1 mL aliquots of 40 whole blood samples in citrated tubes from adult patients to simulate a hematocrit of 60%. A dilutional control was created by adding an equivalent volume of saline to a separate 1 mL aliquot. Routine coagulation studies (PT, aPTT) were run on both samples on the STA Compact Analyzer in accordance with manufacturer instructions. While a paired Student's t-test demonstrated a clinically significant change in both PT and aPTT with the addition of citrate (p = 0.0002 for PT and p = 0.0234 for aPTT), clinical management would not have been altered by any observed change. More interestingly, we observed a shortening of 27/40 PTs and 23/40 aPTTs rather than the expected prolongation. Based on our data, no adjustment of citrate volume appears to be necessary in samples with hematocrits less than or equal to 60%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-94
Number of pages6
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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