Growing interest is observed in chromogenic substrate assays, because of their better precision, performance and possibilities for automation. Applied to a Cobas Bio centrifugal analyzer, we compared Nycotest-Chrom (N-test) and Thromboquant-PT (Tbq) with Thrombotest (TT). Precision tests were performed with samples from 4 plasma pools: normal (45 sec), low (100 sec), middle (150 sec) and high (200 sec) segments of the therapeutic range of TT. N-test had the best precision profile in both intraassay and interassay determinations compared with Tbq. Both chromogenic substrate assays were better than TT in this respect. By orthogonal regression a provisional therapeutic range was calculated from 312 determinations and later adjusted in a confirmation experiment with natural logarithm regression in 946 determinations. Compared with a TT range of 105-180 sec, the therapeutic ranges were 71-120 sec for N-test and 63-103 sec for Tbq. In a clinical therapeutic control phase, 110 patients were randomized in equal proportions to two groups A and B. Every 2 weeks for a period of 16 weeks, blood samples were tested for N-test, Tbq and TT. In group A, dose adjustment was based on N-test, and in group B on Tbq. The monitoring physician was blinded for Tbq and TT in group A and for N-test and TT in group B. No differences were found between the groups for mean TT, N-test, Tbq or mean dosage, nor differences were found in complication rates. A definite therapeutic range was compiled using sensitivity/specificity curves together with their 95% confidence limits. Given TT 105-180 sec, the therapeutic range of N-test is from 80 (95% confidence limits: 77-82) to 110 (95% confidence limits: 108-115) sec, and of Tbq from 68 (95% confidence limits: 66-71) to 95 (95% confidence limits: 91-98) sec. It was concluded that the two chromogenic substrate assays performed equally safe in the monitoring of patients on oral anticoagulant therapy, despite differences in diagnostic correspondence with the reference TT.

Chromogenic substrates, Laboratory control, Method comparison, Oral anticoagulant therapy, Prothrombin time tests, Therapeutic control, Thrombosis centre,
La Ricerca in Clinica e in Laboratorio
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Jonker, J.J.C, Azar, A.J, van Bergen, P.F.M.M, Klarenberg, R.A, & Przespolewski, E.F. (1990). Laboratory and therapeutic control in the Thrombosis Centre Rotterdam using chromogenic prothrombin time tests. La Ricerca in Clinica e in Laboratorio, 20(1), 45–57. doi:10.1007/BF02910148