Rice University Researchers Publish Study about Variation in Drop-to-Drop Samples of Capillary Blood Collected by Fingerprick and Used for Clinical Laboratory Testing

Researchers determined that as many as nine successive capillary blood drops must be collected and tested to achieve results that would be comparable to testing with venous blood

A new study is raising questions about the implications of using fingerprick blood samples for point-of-care tests. Done by researchers at Rice University’s Department of Bioengineering, the study suggests clinicians use measurements with caution when assessing patients’ conditions based on the results of clinical laboratory tests using a single drop of capillary blood collected by fingerstick.

Pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists were quick to call attention to the study, based on the press release Rice University issued. That’s because, for almost 30 years, medical laboratories have struggled to correlate the results for such biomarkers as glucose. It is common for capillary blood specimen collected by finger stick and tested on a point-of-care device to produce different results for the same patient when compared with that of a venous specimen tested on the automated, high-volume analyzes in a central laboratory. The Rice researchers offer useful insights about such variation. (more…)