Purpose of review: The increasing numbers of patients on oral anticoagulants may challenge the traditional organization of patient monitoring. The availability of portable coagulometers capable of measuring prothrombin time (PT) international normalized ratio (INR) in a drop of capillary blood facilitates decentralization of monitoring by self-testing. This article reviews the literature on use of portable coagulometers. Recent findings: Numerous studies have evaluated the reliability of portable coagulometers in testing the PT-INR. This has been assessed by statistically as well as clinically relevant criteria. Other studies have been devoted to developing calibration models fulfilling the criteria recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the calibration of INR measuring systems. Finally, studies have assessed the value of schemes for patient training and for the long-term quality assurance of portable coagulometers. Summary: It can be concluded from the published studies that PT-INR self-testing may be considered as a suitable alternative to conventional laboratory testing. For the PT-INR to be reliable, manufacturers of portable coagulometers should calibrate their devices against international standards for thromboplastin with procedures similar to those recommended by WHO for conventional measuring systems. Training of patients and implementation of appropriate quality assessment schemes are also essential prerequisites for the success of PT-INR self-testing.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Current Opinion in Hematology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2004|
- International normalized ratio
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