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SH Labs

General Information, Microbiology

Microbiology: Organism Taxonomy Updates

To remain up to date with the scientific literature, microbiology must periodically update the official taxonomic nomenclature for organisms as published in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM). These updates also satisfy the laboratory’s accreditation checklist item MIC.11375 from the College of American Pathologists (CAP). Current organism classification is typically revised based on genetic relatedness among genera and species, as opposed to historical phenotypic biochemical characteristic studies. Continue Reading

Chemistry, General Information

Fasting Lipid Test Update

Effective August 8th, Spectrum Health Laboratory will ask all patients to indicate how long they have been fasting (regardless of whether they were fasting or not) when they present for Lipid testing. In light of recent discussions in the literature that debate the utility of fasting prior to lipid testing; we recognize that some clinicians may now not require their patients to be fasting and hope that reporting out length of fasting (hours) with each lipid result will allow all clinicians to better interpret their patient’s lipid results. If fasting is desired; Spectrum Health Laboratory recommends no caloric or caffeine intake for at least 8 hours. The patient is not to drink (other than water), eat, smoke, chew gum, candy, cough drops, etc. for at least 8 hours prior to their blood tests. Prescribed medications are allowed. Continue Reading

Compliance & Safety

Biotin Alert

Biotin is widely used in immunoassay type laboratory methods over a wide range of instruments at numerous clinical laboratories throughout the world (including Spectrum Health).

With the expansion of biotin – also known as vitamin B7 – supplementation and treatments (“over the counter” and prescription, respectively); an associated interference with many clinical laboratory tests has been identified, confirmed and documented. Unfortunately, magnitude and type (falsely increased/decreased) of interference varies with dose and assay; however, it has been confirmed that as dose increases so does the magnitude of the response. In late November 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a safety alert warning that biotin can interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results. Continue Reading

Advanced Technology Laboratory, Flow Cytometry

Oxidative Burst by Flow Cytometry Update

Effective immediately, Oxidative Burst by Flow Cytometry (#LAB2111414) will no longer require submission of the biological mother’s sample. An adult control specimen will still be required along with the patient’s specimen. For more information on specimen collection, please visit the Laboratory Catalog.

Questions may be directed to the Flow Cytometry Laboratory using the “Contact Us” link above.

Blood Bank

5-Pack Platelet Update

Effective immediately, Michigan Blood no longer provides 5-pack platelets and Spectrum Health Blood Bank has changed nomenclature for platelet units when they are ordered. In the past, platelets were ordered as a 5-pack which came from 5 separate donors and had a volume of 250 mL. Current process is one single unit of pheresed platelets which comes from a single donor. The volume is 250 mL, an equivalent volume as a 5-pack of pooled random donor platelets. The bonus is that there are now fewer donor exposures when transfusing a unit of platelets. The 5:5:1 ratio still applies for MTPs (massive transfusions).

Questions may be directed to the Blood Bank using the “Contact Us” link above.

Advanced Technology Laboratory, Molecular Diagnostics

Methods update on BCR-ABL1 t[9;22] RT-PCR testing

An updated BCR-ABL1 t[9;22] RT-PCR assay went live on Jan 31, 2018. The BCR-ABL major and minor fusion transcripts are measured and reported separately after this update. The quantities of BCR-ABL1 major breakpoints fusion transcripts (type e13a2 and/or e14a2) are detected by FDA approved QuantideX® qPCR BCR-ABL IS Kit and the result is calibrated and reported on the International Scale (%IS). The quantities of BCR-ABL minor fusion transcripts are detected by QuantideX qPCR BCR-ABL minor kit and the result is reported as BCR-ABL1 to ABL1 ratio (%). This update provides more precise and standard measurements of BCR-ABL fusion RNA and supports the consistency of patient care in t(9;22) positive CML patients during monitoring of treatment with Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (TKIs).

Questions may be directed to the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory using the “Contact Us” link above.

Lab Catalog link: LAB3222022: BCR-ABL1 t[9;22] RT- PCR