There is a continual debate on what type of sample a clinical laboratory should use. While serum is still considered the gold standard and remains the required sample matrix for some assays, laboratories must consider turn-around time, which is an important metric for laboratory performance and, more importantly, plays a critical role in patient care. In addition, a body of evidence emphasize the choice of plasma samples in order to prevent modifications of some measurands due to the coagulation process and related interferences. Advantages and disadvantages of serum and plasma are discussed on the basis of current literature and evidence. In addition, data are provided on the current utilization of the matrix (serum or plasma) in Italy and in other Countries. Finally, a rational for a possible shift from serum to plasma is provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Biochemistry, medical