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Gavin Howard ACF Abstract FY12

"The Effect of Room Temperature Storage of Patient Serum Specimens on Troponin T Levels"

2012 American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science-Michigan Annual Meeting and Exhibits

The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of room temperature storage of patient plasma specimens on troponin T levels. A baseline level of troponin T will be measured and the specimens will be incubated at room temperature. Levels will be measured again two hours, four hours and eight hours after the baseline measurement to observe the effect of room temperature incubation on troponin T levels. The protocol for troponin T testing requires a blood sample collected in a lithium heparin tube that is separated via centrifugation. The plasma must be tested within two hours of the blood draw or the test results are invalid. If the sample is not tested within two hours, the uncentrifuged specimen may be stored at four degrees Celsius for up to 24 hours and the troponin T levels will remain stable. Sixty patient specimens will be tested. The specimens will be separated into three categories, twenty specimens in each, to reflect the three different categories of troponin T levels at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL). The levels are less than 0.03ng/ml which indicates no cardiac damage, 0.03-0.09ng/ml which indicates possible damage and greater than or equal to 0.09ng/ml which indicates definite cardiac damage. By using samples from all three categories the results will be representative of all ranges of troponin T levels. Larger reference laboratories, like SHRL, often perform troponin T blood level testing for smaller laboratories. During transport specimen integrity is lost if the specimen does not reach the testing laboratory within the two hour time limit. If the results of the study indicate there to be minimal to no change in troponin T levels after the specimen is stored at room temperature for two hours or greater, a greater amount of time will be available to transfer the specimen to the testing laboratory and less specimens will be rejected for testing.