The Main Difference Between Plasma And Serum Lies In The Clotting Factor. Plasma Has clotting factors while serum is free of clotting factors.
Plasma Vs Serum:
Plasma is that part of the blood which is liquid and do not contain blood cells. Blood cells like red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are excluded from plasma. It is the 55 % of the human blood volume. Means that the remaining 44% is the blood cells. As it is free from cells, it contains mostly water. The amount of plasma that is water is 95 percent by volume. The remaining five percent in plasma is proteins, glucose, immunoglobulins, clotting factors, electrolytes, carbon dioxide, electrolytes and hormones and enzymes etc.
In laboratory, blood plasma can be prepared by using a centrifuge that contains anticoagulants. The blood cells in this machine fall to button with the turns and clear plasma can be taken from the top.
Serum is closely related to plasma but the main difference is that, it doesn’t factors that help in the clotting of the blood. Here is the list of 13 clotting factors that must be removed from plasma in order to form blood serum:
- Clotting factor 1: Fibrinogen
- Clotting factor 2: Prothrombin
- Clotting factor 3: Tissue Factor Or Tissue Thromboplastin
- Clotting factor 4: Calcuim
- Clotting factor 5: Proaccelerain
- Clotting factor 6: Accelerin or Factor 5a
- Clotting factor 7: Proconvertin
- Clotting factor 8: Antihemophilic Factor A
- Clotting factor 9: Antihemophilic Factor B
- Clotting factor 10: Staurt Prower Factor
- Clotting factor 11: Plasma Thromboplastin Antecedent
- Clotting factor 12: Hageman Factor
- Clotting factor 13: Fibrin Stabilizing Factor
These are the main clotting factors. There are some more factors as well. If you are interested to learn about all of these factors in detail, read our detailed post on Clotting Factors And Its Mnemonics.
So in order to obtain a serum, you must remove all of the above mentioned clotting factors from the plasma. But the remaining proteins, glucose, hormones, electrolytes etc should be there.
Similarities Between Serum And Plasma:
The major similarity between plasma and serum is that, both of these does not contain blood cells like red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Both plasma and serum cannot be prepared without removal of this cellular portion from blood. For this purpose, a device called centrifuge is used.
Differences Between Serum And Plasma:
Here are some of the major difference between plasma and serum.
1. Medical Use:
Serum is extracted for most of the blood tests like enzymes tests and harmones tests etc. While blood plasma is used in diagnosis of some diseases, but it is mainly injected to patients with blood disorders like hemophilia B etc.
2. Clotting Factors:
As discussed above, the main difference between serum and plasma is that serum does not contains clotting factors (names listed above) while plasma contains clotting factors.
3. Blood Cells:
Both the serum and plasma is free from blood cells. This is the major similarity between the both.
4. Process of extraction:
If you want to obtain plasma or serum, you would have to take care of one thing.
Plasma is obtained by spinning process using centrifuge but anticoagulants are added. Means that it is obtained before clotting. While serum is obtained by the same process but after clotting.
5, Volume In Blood:
Serum definitely has less volume than plasma. The reason is that when clotting factors are removed from plasma, the volume becomes less.
6. Separation from blood:
Separation of serum from blood is more difficult than separation of plasma from blood.