Specimen Processing for Platelet-Rich Plasma

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Antiplatelet Medication Response Testing: Aspirin and Clopidogrel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Specimen Processing for Platelet-Rich Plasma

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may be required for some platelet analysis procedures, such as optical light transmission aggregometry. PRP is prepared by centrifuging whole blood at a low relative centrifugal force (g force). These procedural steps should be followed:
  1. Collect an anticoagulated sample using a tube containing 3.2% sodium citrate; ensure proper filling of the tube.
  2. Prepare the plasma specimen by centrifuging at a low g force (eg, 170 g for 15 minutes).
  3. Ensure that interfering substances are not present in the sample (lipemia, hemolysis, etc.).
  4. Analyze the PRP sample within the time limit recommended by the instrument manufacturer (usually within 3-4 hours of collection).
  5. Ideal concentrations of platelet in platelet-rich plasma are 200-300 x 109/L. Platelet-poor plasma may be used to dilute higher concentrations of platelet-rich plasma, in some cases.
To obtain accurate results during analyses utilizing platelet-rich plasma, samples with baseline platelet counts above 100 x 109/L are preferred.