3 years ago

The right blood collection tube for therapeutic drug monitoring and toxicology screening procedures: Standard tubes, gel or mechanical separator?

Aurélien Schrapp, Céline Mory, Thomas Duflot, Tony Pereira, Laurent Imbert, Fabien Lamoureux

Publication date: Available online 12 November 2018

Source: Clinica Chimica Acta

Author(s): Aurélien Schrapp, Céline Mory, Thomas Duflot, Tony Pereira, Laurent Imbert, Fabien Lamoureux


Stability data of toxics or drugs in gel-based or mechanical separation blood collection tubes are lacking, especially for therapeutic drug monitoring and clinical toxicology procedures. According to ISO 15189 accreditation standard, laboratories need to master the entire preanalytical process including the stability of analytes in a specific tube. Here we explored the impact of BD PST™ II and Barricor™ separator tubes on the stability of 167 therapeutic compounds and common drugs of abuse in plasma samples using LC-MS/MS. Forty drugs were significantly affected by the use of PST™ II tubes, including antidepressants (11/26), neuroleptics (9/13), cardiovascular drugs (5/26), anxiolytics and hypnotics (4/25) and some drugs of abuse (5/26). Six compounds exhibited significant reduction by the mechanical Barricor™ tubes. Ten drugs exhibited low (<85%) but non-significant recoveries due to inter-assay variability. Besides, a logP > 3.3 was determined as a cut-off value to predict a potential lack of stability in PST™ II gel tubes with an 86.4% sensitivity and a 61.4% specificity. As a consequence, determination of drugs with a logP > 3.3 should be carried out with caution in plasma samples withdrawn on PST™ II. The study showed the Barricor™ and non-gel tubes cause less drug interference and are recommended for the drugs studied.

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