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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

New technology, old standards: disparate activated clotting time measurements by the Hemochron Jr compared with the standard Hemochron.

BACKGROUND: Accurate control of the anticoagulation level is important for safe initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass. Using the Hemochron Jr., we consistently noted a higher than customary heparin dose required to achieve an activated clotting time (ACT) that, according to the literature and our quality standards, should be more than 480 seconds. This study was designed to determine whether there existed a significant difference in ACT values measured by the newer Hemochron Jr. and the older Hemochron 801 assay system. METHODS: A total of 30 patients underwent cardiovascular surgical procedures requiring heparinization (300 U/kg). Multiple samples for measurement of the ACT were obtained from all patients before heparinization, after heparinization, during cardiopulmonary bypass, and after protamine administration. Arterial samples were collected, and ACT was determined simultaneously on the same sample using both Hemochron Jr. and Hemochron 801. Activated clotting time data were analyzed with a linear mixed model using an unstructured variance-covariance matrix. RESULTS: Descriptive statistics on all heparinized patients revealed that the Hemochron Jr. yielded ACT results that on average were 121.28 seconds lower than the determination by the standard Hemochron 801 on the same sample of blood. This difference was -139.04 in on-pump cases and -90.51 in off-pump cases, primarily a function of the fact that higher heparin doses and therefore longer ACTs were used in patients having operations using the heart-lung machine. From the linear mixed model, the estimated average paired difference between the Hemochron Jr. and Hemochron 801 was found to be -86.03, yielding a highly significant test statistic (t(28) = -6.18; p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Lower ACT values determined by Hemochron Jr. are consistent with higher, clinically acceptable ACT values as measured by the Hemochron 801. These findings would suggest that safe levels of anticoagulation are determined in part by the specific assay used.[1]


  1. New technology, old standards: disparate activated clotting time measurements by the Hemochron Jr compared with the standard Hemochron. Aylsworth, C.L., Stefan, F., Woitas, K., Rieger, R.H., LeBoutillier, M., DiSesa, V.J. Ann. Thorac. Surg. (2004) [Pubmed]
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