The interior of the tube wall is coated with either EDTA K2 or EDTA K3. The tube is also available with an 8% liquid EDTA solution. The EDTA binds calcium ions thus blocking the coagulation cascade. EDTA tubes can be used in direct sampling analysers without actually being opened. Erythrocytes, leukocytes (white blood cells) and thrombocytes (platelets) are stable in EDTA anticoagulated blood for up to 24 hours. Preparation of blood smears should be done within 3 hours after blood collection. EDTA tubes are used for testing whole blood in the clinical laboratory. EDTA K2 tubes are used for testing whole blood in molecular diagnostics.
EDTA K2/gel tubes are used for testing plasma in molecular diagnostics and viral load detection. HIV and HCV are stable for up to 72 hours in a non-centrifuged sample at room temperature (20–25°C). However centrifugation for EDTA K2/gel tubes should be done within 6 hours after blood collection for best results. Mid- term storage (up to 2 weeks) in primary tubes is recommended at –20°C. For long-term storage (over 2 weeks) at –70°C or at lower temperatures please store aliquots in cryo vials.
Hematology is concerned with the study of the formed elements of the blood: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Diseases of the blood forming tissues can be detected and identified through appropriate testing and examination.
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