The importance of "like to like" ISI calibrations with freeze dried plasmas

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To assess reliability of like to like and cross species calibrations using two types of certified freeze dried plasma calibrants-artificially depleted of vitamin K clotting factors, and from coumarin treated patients.


Six ECAA national control laboratories provided certified values for the freeze dried plasmas in terms of the human plain international reference preparation (IRP) (BCT/441) with the manual prothrombin time technique. Eight other ECAA national laboratories determined international sensitivity index (ISI) values in full fresh plasma same species and cross species WHO calibrations against a low ISI human IRP (BCT/441) of the ECAA low ISI human thromboplastin and high ISI ECAA rabbit thromboplastin. Parallel calibrations were performed using the certified values.


Calibrations on fresh plasmas of the human ECAA reference thromboplastin (stated ISI = 0.95) gave ISI of 0.957 against the human IRP and 1.66 against the rabbit IRP. The ECAA rabbit (stated ISI = 1.67) gave an identical value on the fresh plasma calibration v the human IRP. With freeze dried depleted plasmas certified in terms of the human IRP, the ISI of the ECAA human was 1.01, but the ECAA rabbit (stated ISI = 1.67) gave a low ISI of 1.47. The freeze dried coumarin plasmas gave an ISI of 0.943 for the ECAA human but only 1.493 for the ECAA rabbit.


Fresh plasmas give reliable ISI when calibrating thromboplastins in same species and cross species calibrations. Freeze dried plasmas certified in terms of a single IRP, whether artificially depleted or of coumarin plasma origin, cannot be used for calibration of dissimilar thromboplastins.

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