Medicine

Difference Between Plasma and Serum

Main difference

The main difference between plasma and serum is that plasma is an aqueous part of blood that is anticoagulated and consists of coagulation factors such as fibrinogen whereas serum is plasma without coagulation factors i.e. fibrinogen.

Plasma vs serum

Blood is the most important fluid in the body. It circulates through the arteries, veins, and capillaries and plays a vital role in transporting different materials to or from all cells in the body, such as oxygen and waste metabolites, etc. Blood comprises 8% of total body weight. It is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It consists of two other parts i.e. plasma and serum. The liquid part of the blood that has clotting factors such as fibrinogen is called plasma, while the watery part of blood devoid of clotting factors is known as serum. So, plasma is obtained before coagulation of blood while serum is obtained after coagulation. Serum has a smaller volume than that of plasma.

Comparison chart

Plasma Serum
The liquid part of the blood that has clotting factors and where the blood cells are suspended is known as plasma. The liquid part of the blood that lacks clotting factors is known as serum.
fibrinogen
Contains fibrinogen. Does not contain fibrinogen.
Anticoagulant
You need anticoagulants like EDTA and heparin. You do not need any anticoagulant.
Density
Plasma has a density of 1.025 g/ml. It has a density of 1.024 g/ml.
Volume
Plasma comprises 55% of total blood. Serum has less volume than plasma.
Fountain
It is obtained by centrifuging the blood before it coagulates. It is obtained by centrifuging the blood after coagulation.
Extraction
Plasma extraction is easy and requires less consumption time than serum. Serum extraction is difficult and requires more time.
Storage
Plasma can be stored for years at freezing temperatures. Whey can be stored at sub-zero temperatures for only many months.
water content
Plasma is made up of 92-95% water. Whey is made up of 90% water.
Composition
Plasma is composed of water, amino acids, albumins, globulins, enzymes, gases, nutrients, nitrogenous waste and fibrinogen, etc. The serum is composed of water, amino acids, albumins, globulins, enzymes, gases, nutrients and nitrogenous waste, etc.
medical use
Plasma is used for transfusions to patients who lack blood cells. The serum is used in the diagnosis of diseases and to control blood groups.
What is plasma?

That liquid part of the blood where the components like cells, nutrients, and hormones, etc. float is known as plasma. Plasma comprises 55% of total blood. It is composed of water, amino acids, albumins, globulins, enzymes, gases, nutrients, nitrogenous waste, electrolytes and fibrinogen, etc. Fibrinogen is a blood clotting factor that is present in the plasma and helps to coagulate the blood in case of any injury. It can be stored for years and easily transported from one place to another.

Functions

  • Plasma performs several important functions listed below.
  • It contains many important proteins that are involved in the transport of material throughout the body, such as glucose, etc.
  • Helps regulate body temperature.
  • Maintains blood pressure.
  • In the case of hemophilia and other similar diseases, it is used for transfusions to the patient.

Extraction

To extract plasma, take a small amount of blood sample in a test tube and add some anticoagulant factors, such as EDTA, etc. Centrifuge for a while. Depending on their weight and density, the blood components will separate into three layers. The lowest layer is made up of red blood cells and appears red in color. The second layer is white and contains white blood cells and platelets. The top layer is plasma and is yellow. Plasma extraction is easy and requires less consumption time than serum.

What is whey?

The liquid part of the blood that lacks clotting factors is known as serum. The serum is composed of water, amino acids, albumins, globulins, enzymes, gases, nutrients and nitrogenous waste, etc. Fibrinogen, which is a coagulation factor, is absent in it. It contains antigens, antibodies (IgG, IgM, IgE, IgD, IgA), proteins, electrolytes, and hormones. It can be stored for months.

Functions
  • In the medical field, serum is used to diagnose a number of diseases such as sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, etc.
  • It is also used to find the type of blood group.

Extraction

To draw serum, draw a small amount of blood sample into a test tube. It is not necessary to add any anticoagulant. Centrifuge for some time. After 30 minutes of centrifugation, the blood will coagulate. It will show two types of layer. The top layer is serum and the bottom layer is coagulated blood. Serum extraction is difficult and requires more time.

Key differences

  1. The liquid part of blood that has clotting factors is known as plasma, while the liquid part of blood devoid of clotting factors is known as serum.
  2. Plasma contains fibrinogen, while fibrinogen is absent in serum.
  3. Plasma needs anticoagulants like EDTA and heparin etc. while serum does not need any anticoagulant.
  4. Plasma is obtained by centrifuging blood before coagulation, while serum is obtained after blood coagulation. Therefore, it is more difficult and expensive to extract the whey.
  5. Plasma comprises 55% of total blood, while serum contains less volume of
  6. Plasma has a density of 1.025 g/ml while that of serum is 1.024 g/ml.
  7. Plasma is 92-95% water, but serum is 90% water.
  8. Plasma is used for transfusions to patients who lack blood cells such as hemophilia, while serum is used to diagnose different diseases and to control blood groups.

Final Thoughts

From the above discussion, it is concluded that both plasma and serum are important components of blood but with their own set of functions. Plasma is the liquid part of the blood with coagulation factors such as fibrinogen and is used for transfusions to patients. Serum is that liquid part of the blood that lacks coagulation factors and is used to diagnose blood type diseases.

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