February 5, 2014

Can Temperature Impact HbA1c?

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dogsWhen it comes to helpless animals, nothing is more heartbreaking than a false positive result on their blood test, especially if it means your beloved 4-legged friend has diabetes. The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolism exposes a viable consideration for our dogs. 

HbA1c is a widely used biomarker for diabetes screening. Human blood handling for labs is paramount when it comes to time, temperature, and having to centrifuge samples so they remain fresh. How about Fido? Do labs have the same protocol for animals?

This study took dog blood samples for HbA1c evaluation. These blood samples were stored in a refrigerator at almost 40 degrees and room temperatures of about 77 degrees for 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14 days.

The HbA1c concentrations remained almost unchanged until day 10. No significant differences were calculated between the HbA1c values at different time points under the refrigerator temperature condition.

Moral of the story? If your veterinarian takes blood and stores it for a week in the top desk drawer, it’s not going to give you a false positive for diabetes. Thereafter, all bets are off. Retest.

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