INTRODUCTIONOral anticoagulant therapy (OAT) using warfarin is effective and commonly used in the long‐term treatment and prevention of thromboembolic events. Patients on warfarin therapy must, however, undergo regular International Normalised Ratio (INR) testing to ensure that treatment is safe and optimal, as the INR determines the therapeutic dosage. The INR and the use of target INR ranges have simplified and standardized OAT monitoring throughout the world.Point‐of‐care (POC) instruments have made a notable impact on INR testing. They provide the ability to measure the INR on a small volume of capillary blood obtained by simple finger‐prick, with a marked reduction in the turn‐around‐time as results are virtually instantaneously available. The use of a POC device is generally simple and can often be performed without the assistance of a medical professional, following suitable training.Several studies have demonstrated the precision and accuracy of POC instruments. However, these instruments also have their limitations. The precision, accuracy and linearity of most instruments decrease with INR values above 5.0, although the clinical relevance of this observation has been questioned, and the preferential use of laboratory INRs deemed unnecessary, in the supra‐therapeutic range. The effects of interference from other medications, suboptimal pre‐analytical influences (such as haemolysis,
International Journal of Laboratory Hematology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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