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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Evaluation in an emergency department of rapid separator tubes containing thrombin for serum preparation prior to hs-cTnT and CK-MB analyses

Yasemin U Budak1*, Kagan Huysal2, Mehtap Bulut3 and Murat Polat4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Sevket Yilmaz Education and Research Hospital, Sevket Yilmaz Devlet Hastanesi. Biyokimya Laboratuari. Yildirim, Bursa, Turkey

2 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Yüksek İhtisas Education and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey

3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Sevket Yilmaz Education and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey

4 Department of General Surgery, Sevket Yilmaz Education and Training Hospital, Bursa, Turkey

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BMC Clinical Pathology 2013, 13:20  doi:10.1186/1472-6890-13-20

Published: 13 June 2013



In our emergency department, we collect blood in Rapid Serum Tubes (RSTs; Becton Dickinson, Franklin Lakes, NJ), in which clotting times are reduced. We investigated the influence of RST use on cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT) and creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB) test results, in comparison with the use of tubes featuring a separator gel containing a clotting activator (SSTs; Green-vac, Yongin, Korea).


Samples from 60 patients were divided into equal aliquots and placed into RSTs and SSTs; hs-cTnT and CK-MB concentrations were determined using an autoanalyzer (Elecsys 2010) running commercial assays (Roche Diagnostics, Penzberg, Germany). Between-tube differences in CK-MB and hs-cTnT values were compared using the paired t-test, and correlations among variables were evaluated by calculation of Spearman correlation coefficients (r values). Deming regression analysis was performed and Bland-Altman plots were constructed.


The hs-cTnT and CK-MB test results obtained from samples placed into RSTs and SSTs did not differ (p > 0.1). The correlations between the concentrations of hs-cTnT and CK-MB in samples placed into RSTs and SSTs were good; both r values were unity (p < 0.001). Deming regression analysis yielded the equation: RST [hs-cTnT] = 0.98 SST [hs-cTnT] + 0.69 pg/ml; and RST [CK-MB] = 0.95 SST [CK-MB]–0.09 ng/ml. The biases of 1.4 pg/ml (95% CI: minus 8.1–10.7 pg/ml) for hs-cTnT levels and 0.249 ng/ml (95% CI: minus 0.682–1.681 ng/ml) for CK-MB levels assayed using either tube was acceptable.


The hs-cTnT and CK-MB test results did not significantly differ when either tube was used. RST tube use was associated with a short clotting time; this was an advantage in an emergency laboratory setting.

Rapid serum tubes; Cardiac troponin T; Creatine kinase-MB