An important source of preanalytical error in medical laboratories: centrifugation

Sonmez C., Gumus A., Senes M., Aykal G., TANELİ F., AKSUNGAR F. , ...More

TURKISH JOURNAL OF BIOCHEMISTRY-TURK BIYOKIMYA DERGISI, vol.46, no.4, pp.399-405, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1515/tjb-2020-0262
  • Page Numbers: pp.399-405
  • Keywords: centrifuge, classifications of centrifuges, preanalytical phase error, relative centrifugal force, rotation per minute


Centrifugation separates particles within the specimen according to their shape, dimensions, and density and basically can be defined as a separation method. The centrifuge is an essential device in medical laboratories to prepare the serum, plasma, and urine samples for analysis. It is basically an electric device composed of the stationary (motor) and the motile (rotor) part. The centrifugation depends on two main variables: relative centrifugal force (RCF) and centrifugation time. The physical impact separating the specimen into its components in the centrifuge known as RCF is expressed as the multiples of gravitational acceleration (xg). RPM, defined as the number of rotations of the centrifuge perminute, shows the speed of the centrifuge. RCF value can be calculated by using RPM, and the centrifuge radius. Because models and sizes of centrifuges vary considerably, the use of gravity (g) forces instead of RPM is suggested. The centrifuges can be classified according to their usage, speed, technical specifications, and rotor type. An accurate and precise centrifugation process is essential to prevent errors in the preanalytical phase. The purpose of this document is to ensure the standardization of a good, precise protocol for the centrifugation process among the medical laboratories.