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Question: Blood (serum) clots - Help!

Laurie Davison ldavison at pop.uky.edu
Tue Apr 14 23:28:59 EST 1998

   I'm posting this question to a few newsgroups in hopes that someone 
can answer a question for me.
   I work in an equine reproductive research laboratory and we do a lot 
of blood work - mainly RIA of various hormones in mare's blood. We treat 
all blood samples the same way: allowed to clot at room temp for about an 
hour, then placed in the 'fridge overnight to allow the clot to shrink, 
then centrifuged and poured off the following morning. Heparin cannot be 
used as it interferes with two of our assays (melatonin and T4).
   The problem is that we keep getting large "serum clots" (presumably 
due to fibrin?) which are causing us to lose up to 80% of the total 
volume of serum. Their formation does not seem to be affected by the 
ammount of time we keep it at room temp or in the 'fridge, or by the 
speed of centrifugation. Since we take our blood at a University farm and 
have to travel 20 minutes back to the lab, "immediate" centrifugation for 
plasma is also not an option. 
   Have any of you run into this problem in your work? If so, can you 
offer any advice on how to prevent this from occurring? I've worked with 
the blood of a number of species and I don't recall ever having had this 
trouble before.
   Suggestions *Gratefully* Awaited!!!:)


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