Which sample?

Details on the recommended material (blood, serum, plasma) for the requested test can be taken from our test descriptions or the submission form.

For labelling the sample, it is also necessary to indicate the sample typ.

Whole blood samples

EDTA blood (EB)

For doing a blood count, EDTA blood is the most suitable material in mammals (however, for birds and reptiles it is heparin blood, see below). For the serological examination of the blood type, EDTA whole blood is needed as well. As the cells in the sample are not stable, EDTA samples for haematological tests should not be older than 48 hours.

For most PCR analyses and genetic tests, EDTA blood is required.

To determine certain parameters such as ACTH or pro-BNP, only EDTA plasma which was promptly centrifuged and cooled can be used to obtain reliable results.

Heparin blood (HB)

To collect heparin samples, lithium heparin (LiHep) tubes are available.

For doing a blood count for reptiles and birds, lithium heparin blood should generally be used.

Since the amount of blood ist often very low in small mammals, lithium heprin tubes are particulray suitable, as they cannot only be used for doing a blood count but alos for dterming a wide range of blood-chemical parameters.

For the PCR, lithium heparin whole blood should only be used under exceptional circumstances, as lithium heparin can inhibit the PCR and might thus lead to false negative results.

Citrate blood (CB)

To determine the coagulation parameters, only the appropriate citrate tubes should be used. For getting a correct evaluation, their shelf life may not be exceeded. It is also necessary to have an exact mix ratio of 1:10 (1 part citrate + 9 parts blood).

Most coagulation parameters can be analysed using citrate whole blood. For correctly performing platelet function tests, citrate whole blood is required. 

Sodium fluoride blood (NaFB)

Sodium fluoride inhibits enzyme activities which lead to a reduction of some parameters. It should be used for the correct determination of glucose and lactate.


Samples are drawn into tubes with anticoagulants (heparin, EDTA, citrate).

Can be centrifuged immediately after collection (10 min, 2000 g). Remove the supernatant by pipette and transfer it into an uncoated test tube, then indicate the sample materials on the test tube or use the appropriate bar code label.

Please note: The additives limit the number of analyses!

Heparin plasma (HP) is needed for many clinical-chemical examinations. HP cannot be used for agglutination tests.

The collection of EDTA plasma (EP) for clinical-chemical and/or serological parameters should only take place in exceptional cases, as EDTA disturbs through various mechanisms the measurement of individual parameters such as calcium, magnesium and AP. Likewise, potassium cannot be determined when using EDTA plasma, since EDTA is added as K-EDTA.

Some coagulation parameters can only be analysed using citrate plasma (CP). Performing platelet function tests using centrifuged citrate plasma is not possible. 


Samples are drawn into tubes without anticoagulants.

Allow to stand for 30 – 60 min, centrifuge for 10 min at 2000 g, remove the supernatant by pipette and transfer it into an uncoated test tube, then label the test tube.

For correctly determining individual parameters like insulin or fructosamine, only serum should be used.

Sending not-centrifugated samples should only be done exceptionally (e. g. in case of a very low sample quantity), as the transport might result in cell damage and thus lead to a haemolytic serum.