Preanalytics comprise collection, preparation and storage of the samples.
- The following should be shown together with the data:
- Type of sample
- Sample collection details, e.g. amount, collection tubes, cell passages
- Sample preparation details
- Storage conditions
- Freeze-thaw cycles
- Current best practice:
- Collect, prepare and store samples on ice
- Immediately flash-freeze in liquid nitrogen
- Long-time storage at -150°C – -80°C
- Evaluation of preanalytic requirements for the sample material is highly recommended e.g.:
- Stability at different temperatures
- Stability during preparation and storage e.g. impact of storage containers and solvents
- For blood samples – time to separate plasma/serum
- For lipid mediators – prevention of artifactual generation e.g. addition of organic solvents, use of additives or enzyme inhibitors.