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BMC Clin Pathol. 2011 May 10;11:6. doi: 10.1186/1472-6890-11-6.

Effects of different centrifugation conditions on clinical chemistry and Immunology test results.

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  • 1Stadtspital Triemli, Central laboratory Birmensdorferstrasse 497 CH-8063 Zürich Switzerland.



The effect of centrifugation time of heparinized blood samples on clinical chemistry and immunology results has rarely been studied. WHO guideline proposed a 15 min centrifugation time without citing any scientific publications. The centrifugation time has a considerable impact on the turn-around-time.


We investigated 74 parameters in samples from 44 patients on a Roche Cobas 6000 system, to see whether there was a statistical significant difference in the test results among specimens centrifuged at 2180 g for 15 min, at 2180 g for 10 min or at 1870 g for 7 min, respectively. Two tubes with different plasma separators (both Greiner Bio-One) were used for each centrifugation condition. Statistical comparisons were made by Deming fit.


Tubes with different separators showed identical results in all parameters. Likewise, excellent correlations were found among tubes to which different centrifugation conditions were applied. Fifty percent of the slopes lay between 0.99 and 1.01. Only 3.6 percent of the statistical tests results fell outside the significance level of p < 0.05, which was less than the expected 5%. This suggests that the outliers are the result of random variation and the large number of statistical tests performed. Further, we found that our data are sufficient not to miss a biased test (beta error) with a probability of 0.10 to 0.05 in most parameters.


A centrifugation time of either 7 or 10 min provided identical test results compared to the time of 15 min as proposed by WHO under the conditions used in our study.

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