Background: The type of blood collection tube affects specimen quality and laboratory results. Because plasma specimens have a shorter processing time compared with serum specimens, emergency biochemistry tests use plasma. However, serum specimens remain stable after centrifugation and show more accurate results than plasma. Therefore, a quick-clotting serum separator tube is expected to be useful for shorter turnaround times and accurate results. We evaluated a new quick-clotting serum separator tube VQ-Tube™ (AB Medical, Korea) for clinical chemistry and thyroid hormone assays. Methods: One hundred volunteers from four university hospitals were recruited, and peripheral blood samples were collected in quick-clotting serum separator tube VQ-Tubes™ and the commonly used serum separator tube V-Tubes™. The obtained specimens were used for 16 clinical chemistry assays and three thyroid hormone assays. Results: The differences (%) in the test results obtained from the samples in each tube satisfied the allowable difference ranges (19 assays). The differences in the test results between the tubes satisfied the desired specifications for accuracy except for the glucose results (2.75%). The paired t-test revealed significant differences between the results of six assays, but each set of results showed a good correlation. Samples were visually inspected for serum clarity and gel barrier integrity, and incomplete clotting reactions and haemolysed serum were not observed. Conclusions: The new quick-clotting VQ-Tube™ demonstrated reliable test results compared with the commonly used serum separator tube V-Tube™. This quick-clotting tube will provide fast test results with adequately separated serum specimens, especially for patients who need fast tests.
- serum separator tube