Homocysteine occurs in cell metabolism as an intermediary product during the catabolisation of methionine. A higher concentration of homocysteine in the blood can increase the risk for cardio and cerebrovascular blockages. Determination of the homocysteine concentration in plasma is therefore carried out for primary prevention – and sometimes for secondary prevention – of heart attacks and strokes.

Scientific studies have proven, that false results can occur in the determination of the homocysteine value, if plasma and blood cells are not separated directly after the blood collection. The concentration of the homocysteine can then rapidly increase,
depending on the time and temperature. This situation can lead to a false result of up to 10% within just an hour.

In daily routine, it is not always possible, or it can be impractical, to quickly centrifuge and cool the blood samples. Due to this, a simple, practical solution in preanalytical
handling was called for from many areas.

In reaction to this, Greiner Bio-One has developed the new VACUETTE® homocysteine detection tube. In this tube, the in-vivo homocysteine concentration remains constant for up to 30 hours at room temperature (20 – 24°C). The stabilisation of the specimen means that transportation at room temperature is
possible – avoiding the need to refrigerate. However, it is necessary to centrifuge the tubes for ten minutes at 2000 – 2200 g prior to the analysis in the laboratory.

By using the new VACUETTE homocysteine detection tube, daily routine is easier and an exact determination of the homocysteine value is made possible.


The Greiner Bio-One International AG, based in Kremsmunster, Upper Austria, is an independent concern owned by the Greiner family, which was formed in 2001 when the Labortechnik branch left the Greiner Holding AG. As innovative system partner to the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industry as well as biotechnology, the company is successfully active in more than 100 countries throughout the world, with around
1200 employees.