Next Article in Journal
Effects of Early Intervention with Maternal Fecal Microbiota and Antibiotics on the Gut Microbiota and Metabolite Profiles of Piglets
Previous Article in Journal
Untargeted Metabolic Profiling Cell-Based Approach of Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells in Response to High Glucose and the Effect of the Antioxidant Vitamins D and E
Article Menu
Issue 4 (December) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Metabolites 2018, 8(4), 88;

Impact of Blood Collection Tubes and Sample Handling Time on Serum and Plasma Metabolome and Lipidome

Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Department of Medicine, St. Joseph Hospital, Denver, CO 80218, USA
Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO 80206, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 4 December 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [1733 KB, uploaded 14 December 2018]   |  


Background: Metabolomics is emerging as a valuable tool in clinical science. However, one major challenge in clinical metabolomics is the limited use of standardized guidelines for sample collection and handling. In this study, we conducted a pilot analysis of serum and plasma to determine the effects of processing time and collection tube on the metabolome. Methods: Blood was collected in 3 tubes: Vacutainer serum separator tube (SST, serum), EDTA (plasma) and P100 (plasma) and stored at 4 degrees for 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 and 24 h prior to centrifugation. Compounds were extracted using liquid-liquid extraction to obtain a hydrophilic and a hydrophobic fraction and analyzed using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Differences among the blood collection tubes and sample processing time were evaluated (ANOVA, Bonferroni FWER ≤ 0.05 and ANOVA, Benjamini Hochberg FDR ≤ 0.1, respectively). Results: Among the serum and plasma tubes 93.5% of compounds overlapped, 382 compounds were unique to serum and one compound was unique to plasma. There were 46, 50 and 86 compounds affected by processing time in SST, EDTA and P100 tubes, respectively, including many lipids. In contrast, 496 hydrophilic and 242 hydrophobic compounds differed by collection tube. Forty-five different chemical classes including alcohols, sugars, amino acids and prenol lipids were affected by the choice of blood collection tube. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the choice of blood collection tube has a significant effect on detected metabolites and their overall abundances. Perhaps surprisingly, variation in sample processing time has less of an effect compared to collection tube; however, a larger sample size is needed to confirm this. View Full-Text
Keywords: metabolomics; lipidomics; clinical; collection tubes; blood; plasma; serum metabolomics; lipidomics; clinical; collection tubes; blood; plasma; serum

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Cruickshank-Quinn, C.; Zheng, L.K.; Quinn, K.; Bowler, R.; Reisdorph, R.; Reisdorph, N. Impact of Blood Collection Tubes and Sample Handling Time on Serum and Plasma Metabolome and Lipidome. Metabolites 2018, 8, 88.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Metabolites EISSN 2218-1989 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top