Activated partial thromboplastin times (APTT) for monitoring heparin therapy for venous thromboembolism tended to be inappropriately short if blood was collected in commercially available evacuated glass tubes. Five types of evacuated tubes marketed under the trade names Vacutainer and Venoject were examined. The APTT of heparinized blood collected in these tubes correlated poorly (r = 0.04 to 4 = 0.25) with that of blood samples from the same patients collected in plastic tubes. Most of the evacuated tube APTT were shorter than that of blood collected in plastic or siliconised glass tubes, but the results were unpredictable and varied from tube to tube and from batch to batch. This effect on heparin is apparently due to an unidentified substances which is eluted from the rubber stoppers of the tubes. Heparin control according to the APTT blood collected in these evacuated tubes is hazardous.
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