EDTA contaminated blood samples
Background: The widely accepted practice of not reporting any results from ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) contaminated samples necessitates repeat phlebotomy and could delay clinical management decisions. EDTA, however, interferes variably or not at all in assays. EDTA concentration in contaminated samples, like serum indices, therefore, could be used to selectively report the result of analytes not affected at measured EDTA concentration.
Methods: A serum pool, level 1 and level 3 internal quality control materials were spiked with tripotassium-EDTA to create samples with EDTA concentration up to 6.0 mmol/L. EDTA and 45 common and critically important analytes were measured on Abbott Architect to identify EDTA concentrations for analytes where the change in concentration exceeded their respective reference change value (RCV) for unidirectional change at 95% probability.
Results: Serum potassium increased and calcium decreased exceeding RCV at 0.17 mmol/L EDTA. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) decreased exceeding RCV at EDTA >1.86 mmol/L. The decrease in iron did not exceed a wide RCV of 61.9% until maximum spiked EDTA but exceeded the desirable specification for allowable total error (30.7%) at EDTA >1.86 mmol/L. The small decrease in magnesium did not exceed RCV. EDTA up to the concentration in blood collection tubes did not affect the results of any other measured analyte.
Conclusions: Only serum potassium, calcium, ALP and iron studies, of the 45 analytes studied, should not be reported in EDTA contaminated samples. EDTA concentration cut-offs for selective reporting would further facilitate reporting of these analytes in EDTA contaminated samples.
Kalaria T, Ford C, Gama R. Managing ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) interference in EDTA contaminated samples – selectivity in reporting analytes. Ann Clin Biochem. 2022 Nov 21:45632221140989. doi: 10.1177/00045632221140989. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36348502.