Some commonly used vaccutainers have the following "tube top" color and
preservatives or anti-coagulants. Also shown in the table below are potential
research uses for such samples. More information may be found on
Vacutainer entry or on Becton Dickinson's website
|Tube top color
||Potential Research Uses
||Serum for testing - antibody or complement factor studies, etc.
Also useful for electrolytes and other biomarkers, but varies across clinical
laboratories whether they routine use serum or plasma for such testing.
||Serum separator gel
||Serum for testing, per above. Note, serum separator gel may
potentially introduce compounds that could be picked up by mass spec or other
highly sensitive studies that broadly survey compounds in fluids.
||Thrombin as a pro-coagulant
||Serum - used primarily for STAT testing to insure blood rapidly
clots. Useful for studies needed serum. As mentioned, added thrombin and
clotting factor products may show up in altered amounts if using broad and
highly sensitive screening methods.
|Green top - light-Kelly Green
||Lithium heparin as an anti-coagulanti. May have plasma separator gel
||Plasma - used primarily for detecting blood chemistries and
certain biomarkers, such as cardiac enzymes or certain hormones.
Heparinized samples are sub-optimal for DNA extraction
as the heparin can interfere with certain components of the extraction kits.
The negatively charged heparin may also interfere with other platforms and
types of tests.
|Green top - dark Green
||Sodium heparin as an anti-coagulant. May have plasma separator
||Same considerations as for lithium heparin.
||EDTA as an anti-coagulant.
||Commonly used for Complete Blood Count (CBC), hemoglobin A1c, and
defined testing on red or white cells. Good sample for preparing DNA from blood.
||Acid citrate dextrose (ACD) as anti-coagulant
||Used for certain type of coagulation and blood bank testing.
Can be used to extract DNA and obtain viable cells for functional studies.
||Sodium citrate as anti-coagulant
||Used primarily for clotting studies. Sample useful for obtaining
||Sodium fluoride as an enzyme inhibitor
||Used for certain glucose, toxicology and other studies where
inhibiting continued metabolic activity of RBCs or WBCs is needed.
Not an optimal sample type for DNA or most research biomarker studies. Useful primarily if enzymatic inhibition in the sample is required
at the time of draw.