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Flashcards in Introduction and chemical pathology lab Deck (35)
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What are the different tubes for collecting blood and what do they contain?

Red top= no anticoagulant
Yellow top= have gel to speed up clot
Purple top= have potassium EDTA
Grey top= have fluoride oxalate (poison)
Blue top= citrate (anticoagulant)


What does the potassium EDTA do?

It keeps the cells alive- what you want if you want to do anything with the cells (red, white and platelets)


What does fluoride oxalate do and when is it used?

It is a type of poison that kills the red blood cells, it is used if you want to measure blood glucose- if cells are alive they will consume glucose


What is HbA1c?

Glycated haemoglobin


What would you expect to find in terms of HbA1c when performing electrophoresis on the blood of someone with poorly controlled diabetes?

More HbA1c which will be found at bottom


For what period of time does the electrophoresis show you how good blood glucose control has been?

3 months because that's how long red blood cells survive


What is the difference between serum and plasma?

Serum contains no clotting factors


What is serum useful for measuring?



How would you get just the serum from the blood?

Add it to a yellow top tube, the gel will speed up coagulation and use up all the clotting factors, the serum and cells are then separated by centrifuge because the cells are more dense than the gel and the gel is more dense than the serum so it separates the two, you can then use a tube to just suck out the serum


What is a problem with poor blood collection?

Cells are full of potassium
If you do a poor collection and pull hard on syringe you will lyse cells and there will be extra potassium in the plasma which will affect results- you can notice it because it looks pink


Why is citrate useful as an anticoagulant?

It is reversible


What is citrate used to measure?

Clotting factors


How does citrate act as an anticoagulant?

It binds to calcium and prevents clotting


How do you measure clotting factors once you have a sample in the citrate bottle?

You add just the right amount of calcium to start the clotting process then measure the clotting time- PT and APTT- there is a fixed amount of calcium so you need to put the right amount of blood into the tube


When do you need to contact a chemical pathologist?

When you want a sample to be rapidly centrifuged out of hours
When you want to measure labile hormones such as insulin
When you urgently need CSF glucose and protein to be measured
Meningitis- if there is bacteria they will consume glucose


If someones results contained low sodium and high potassium what would you consider?

Adrenal failure


What is the link between urea and creatinine?

The kidneys excrete both


Where is creatinine produced?

In the muscle and produced constantly


Why does the amount of creatinine that you produce stay the same through adult life?

Your muscle mass normally roughly stays the same


As the creatinine production rate is fixed, what does the level of creatinine in the blood show you?

How well your kidneys are functioning- marker of GFR


How much do urea levels vary?

A little bit depending on your diet- it comes from protein


What is urea a marker of?

How dehydrated you are


What happens in the kidney when you are dehydrated in terms of urea?

You start reabsorbing more water and accidentally absorb some urea


If someone had high urea and normal creatine, what would you suspect?

Dehydrated with normal kidney function


What will happen to urea and creatine levels in renal disease?

Both will rise


What will your potassium, sodium, urea and creatine levels be like in addison's disease?

High potassium
Low sodium
High urea
Normal creatine


Where are liver enzyme found?

In the liver within hepatocytes
Tiny amount leaks into blood


In terms of liver enzymes, what happens during liver disease?

More leak into the blood


What common enzymes are measured in liver function tests?

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
Aspartate Aminotransferase/Transaminase (AST)
Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)


What is TBil?

Total bilirubin (excreted in the faeces through bile) (increases with liver failure or biliary tree problems)