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Point-of-care test (POCT) INR: hope or illusion?

In the last decade, point-of-care tests were developed to provide rapid generation of test results. These tests have increasingly broad applications. In the area of hemostasis, the international normalized ratio, INR point-of-care test (POCT INR), is the main test of this new proposal. This test has great potential benefit in situations where the quick INR results influences clinical decision making, as in acute ischemic stroke, before surgical procedures and during cardiac surgery. The INR POCT has the potential to be used for self-monitoring of oral anticoagulation in patients under anticoagulant therapy. However, the precision and accuracy of INR POCT still need to be enhanced to increase effectiveness and efficiency of the test. Additionally, the RDC / ANVISA Number 302 makes clear that the POCT testing must be supervised by the technical manager of the Clinical Laboratory in the pre-analytical, analytical and post-analytical. In practice, the Clinical Laboratory does not participate in the implementation of POCT testing or release of the results. Clinicians have high expectation with the incorporation of INR POCT in clinical practice, despite the limitations of this method. These professionals are willing to train the patient to perform the test, but are not legally responsible for the quality of it and are not prepared for the maintenance of equipment. The definition of who is in charge for the test must be one to ensure the quality control.

Thrombosis; Clinical laboratory techniques; Prothrombin time

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