Free fatty acid concentrations in plasma measured after in vivo heparinisation are often overestimated because of ex vivo lipolysis of variable degrees. A new method has been developed using immediate extraction of blood which obviates this and shows that the true rise in plasma free fatty acid concentration after heparin in ambulant ward patients and in patients with acute myocardial infarction is less than previously reported. The small rise in plasma free fatty acid concentration after heparin is unlikely to have adverse metabolic effects in most patients during acute myocardial infarction.
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