EDTA salts (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) are used to anticoagulate whole blood for haematological investigations, as the cellular components of the blood are particularly well preserved by EDTA . The anticoagulation is achieved by the EDTA forming complexes with metal ions such as calcium, therefore inhibiting the coagulation cascade . Anticoagulation with EDTA is irreversible .
The EDTA concentration in BD Vacutainer® tubes is 1 .8 mg/mL of whole blood, as recommended by the ICSH (International Council Society of Haematology)1 . The ICSH recommends dipotassium EDTA salt (K2EDTA) for haematological investigation . BD Vacutainer® plastic (PET) tubes are available with spray dried K2EDTA and K3EDTA .
To avoid micro-clotting, mix the EDTA tube with 8-10 inversions immediately after the blood sample has been taken.