Background: In vitro hemolysis can be induced by several biological and technical sources, and may be worsened by forced aspiration of blood in vacuum tubes. This study was aimed to compare the probability of hemolysis by drawing blood with a commercial evacuated blood collection tube, and S-Monovette used either in the "vacuum" or "aspiration" mode. Materials and methods: The study population consisted in 20 healthy volunteers. A sample was drawn into 4.0 mL BD Vacutainer serum tube from a vein of one upper arm. Two other samples were drawn with a second venipuncture from a vein of the opposite arm, into 4.0 mL S-Monovette serum tubes, by both vacuum an aspiration modes. After separation, serum potassium, lactate dehydrogenase (LD) and hemolysis index (HI) were tested on Beckman Coulter DxC. Results: In no case the HI exceed the limit of significant hemolysis. As compared with BD Vacutainer, no significant differences were observed for potassium and LD using S-Monovette with vacuum method. Significant increased values of both parameters were however found in serum collected into BD Vacutainer and S-Monovette by vacuum mode, compared to serum drawn by S-Monovette in aspiration mode. The mean potassium bias was 2.2% versus BD Vacutainer and 2.4% versus S-Monovette in vacuum mode, that of LD was 2.7% versus BD Vacutainer and 2.1% versus S-Monovette in vacuum mode. None of these variations exceeded the allowable total error. Conclusions: Although no significant macro-hemolysis was observed with any collection system, the less chance of producing micro-hemolysis by S-Monovette in aspiration mode suggest that this device may be used when a difficult venipuncture combined with the vacuum may increase the probability of spurious hemolysis.
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