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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Minimizing Pre-Analytical Variability During Venipuncture, Urine Sample Collection, and Sample Processing. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Storage Time

Sample storage time is an important consideration if testing does not immediately ensue following the arrival of the sample in the laboratory, or immediately after the serum or plasma is harvested from whole blood.
This pre-analytical variable further challenges the sample integrity, as the more time that elapses between collection and analysis, the more opportunity exists for the analytes of interest to change. Laboratories should conduct stability studies to accurately assess the effects of storage time on sample integrity for its full menu of test offerings.