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Plasma viscosity

Category Haematology
Test background

Plasma viscosity is an indirect measure of the amount of protein present in plasma. It can reflect the degree of inflammation present in the body, and the presence of abnormal paraproteins, which can be made by benign or malignant tumours. It actually measures the force needed to send a fixed amount of plasma flowing along a thin tube in a given time, at a standard temperature.

Clinical Indications

Diagnosis and monitoring of temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica
Assessment and monitoring of high plasma viscosity states, eg. macroglobulinaemia

Reference range

1.50-1.72 mPa.s

Sample & container required 4 mL EDTA (lavender top)
Turnaround time 3-5 days

Not currently performed in house; this test is referred to the University College London Hospital