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October 30, 1972

Activated Coagulation Time As Screening Test

JAMA. 1972;222(5):583-584. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210050055021

To The Editor.—  A great many physicians at present use the activated coagulation time of whole blood (ACT)1 as a means of monitoring heparin therapy of thromboembolic disease,2 or control of heparin in the renal dialysis unit. Some use it to monitor the response of the hemophilic patient to infusions of factor VIII,3 while in many laboratories this test is used as a routine preoperative screening test for coagulopathies.4It should be of interest to your readers, therefore, to hear that Becton-Dickinson Co, the manufacturer of the tube used solely for this purpose (3206 XF 136), has discontinued its production. In its place, they will soon be distributing a new tube, 3206 XF 534.The importance of the change stems from the fact that the coagulation times are by no means identical in the two tubes. In our hands, parallel studies of "new" and "old" ACTs