Specimen Container Types

Most Commonly Used Blood Collection Tubes

Stopper Color


Contents and Function

Red (RT) Sterile, no anticoagulant or additives. Collection of serum for chemical or serological and bacteriologic studies. May be used for any procedure requiring serum except HLA antibody tests.
Special Red (RT) 7 mL Contains no silicone, gel separators, anticoagulants, or additives of any kind.  Can be used for collection of serum for HLA antibody screen/PRA and platelet-specific antibody screen.
Gold (GT) Sterile, silica clot activator and inert polymer serum separator gel. Collection of serum for chemistry studies.  For acceptability, please refer to the alphabetical section of this manual. NOT FOR USE FOR BLOOD BANK PROCEDURES!!!
Lavender (LT) Sterile, contains EDTA (Ethylene Diamine Tetra Acetate) as the anticoagulant. *MIX WELL!* Primarily for collection of hematology studies, blood bank procedures and certain chemistries.
Blue (BLT) Sterile, contains sodium citrate (0.109M, 3.2%) solution as the anticoagulant. Tube calibrated to draw only 4.5 ml of blood. Only properly filled tubes are accepted for testing. *MIX WELL!*Primarily for collection of coagulation studies.
Gray (GYT) Sterile, contains potassium oxalate and sodium fluoride as the anticoagulant. *MIX WELL!* For the collection of glucose and lactate samples. Not suitable for enzymes or electrolytes.
Green (GRN) Sterile, contains lithium heparin as the anticoagulant. *MIX WELL!* For collection of other miscellaneous studies. Electrolytes, glucose, BUN can be performed more quickly than from a red top; especially useful for patients in DKA.
Special Green (SGRN) Sterile, contains sodium heparin as the anticoagulant. For collection of flow cytometry specimens. *MIX WELL!*
Yellow (YT) Sterile, contains ACD (Acid Citrate Dextrose) as the anticoagulant. *MIX WELL!* For determination of HLA-ABC antigens, HLA-B27, HLA Molecular Typing, G6PD levels and acid phosphatase levels.
Royal Blue (RBL) Sterile, contains no anticoagulant. For detection of trace metals (i.e., Arsenic, Zinc, etc.). Contact lab to acquire this tube.
Pink (PT) Sterile, does not contain any anticoagulant, serum separator, or silicone coating.  For detection of HLA antibodies in serum (CYTS).
Tan Sodium heparin (glass) or K2EDTA (plastic).  For lead determinations.  This tube contains less than .01µg/mL(ppm) lead. Tube inversions prevent clotting.
Pearl Top (PPT, Plasma Preparation Tube) 5 mL Contains 9 mg K2EDTA.  For viral load monitoring or viral detection

* GENTLY invert tube 5-10 times: DO NOT SHAKE!!!

24 Hour Urine Collection Instructions:
For collection of 24 hour urine, the patient should be carefully instructed to begin with an empty bladder by voiding and discarding urine at 7:00am, and then collecting all urine for 24 hours including a 7:00am voiding the following day.