Artifactual changes in hematological variables in equine blood samples stored at different temperatures and various anticoagulants

Research paper by Maysam Tehrani Sharif, Mehrdad Ameri Mahabadi, Sogand Moshfeghi, Hamid Sharifi, Seyed Mohammad Hoseini, Seyed Mohsen Alavi

Indexed on: 24 Oct '10Published on: 24 Oct '10Published in: Comparative Clinical Pathology


The objective of this study was to determine the effect of storage time, temperature, and anticoagulant on hematologic parameters in equine blood samples. Blood samples were obtained from 50 clinically healthy warm-blooded horses at two major equestrian complexes in Tehran, Iran. The samples were collected in three different tubes containing EDTA, sodium citrate, or heparin and were analyzed within 4 h of collection. Blood samples collected into EDTA-containing tubes were stored at 4°C or 24°C. Each sample was analyzed again at 24, 48, and 72 h after collection. The statistically significant (P < 0.05) alterations included decreased RBC count and increased hemoglobin concentration [Hgb] in blood samples stored at 24°C after 48 and 72 h; increased hematocrit in blood samples stored at 24°C after 24 h; decreased hematocrit in blood samples stored at 4°C after 72 h; decreased MCHC in blood samples stored at 4°C after 72 h; and decreased total WBC count in blood samples stored at 24°C after 48 h. Although there was no significant difference in hematologic analytes between heparinized and EDTA-anticoagulated blood samples, most of the hematologic analytes were decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in sodium citrate-containing blood samples, compared with blood samples stored in EDTA. The results of this study suggest that within certain limitations for some hematologic analytes, equine blood samples stored in EDTA at 4°C for up to 72 h may be suitable for hematologic testing.