Stability of Serum/Plasma Glucose for the Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus

  • OK Nwosu
  • CD Nwani
Keywords: Glucose, Diabetes mellitus, Blood collection, Stability, Temperature


Due to inconsistent power supply in the developing countries, particularly in the rural areas, immediate sample separation and analysis may not be practicable. This study investigated the time-related changes in glucose concentration of serum and plasma specimens stored at 4oC and room temperature (32oC) for 3 days. Blood samples were collected from 30 fasting patients suffering from diabetes mellitus at the Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital (EBSUTH), Abakaliki, Nigeria. Glucose levels were assayed using glucose oxidase method immediately upon sample collection and separation to obtain the baseline value (BV) and thereafter at specified time intervals across 72 hours. In serum samples, the values obtained after 2 hours at 32oC and at the 72nd hour at 4oC were significantly different (P<0.05) from the baseline value (BV) while for the plasma specimens, the values differed significantly (P<0.05) from the BV after 6 hours at 32oC. The plasma glucose level was found to be stable throughout the storage period of 3 days at 4oC. Also, glucose concentration was found to be more stable in refrigerated samples than in those kept at ambient temperature (32oC). Based on the findings of this study, reliable values for serum glucose can be obtained from samples kept at room temperature only if analysis is carried out within 2 hours of sample collection. However, when refrigerated, serum glucose results could still be relied upon for diagnosis if carried out within 48 hours post collection. Otherwise, plasma specimens are recommended for glucose estimation if little delay before analysis is anticipated since glucose was found to be more stable in plasma samples obtained from sodium fluoride anticoagulated blood.

Keywords: Glucose, Diabetes mellitus, Blood collection, Stability, Temperature

Bio-Research Vol. 6 (2) 2008: pp. 380-383

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2705-3822
print ISSN: 1596-7409