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General Information

Chemistry, Compliance & Safety, General Information

Reference Range Update: Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody

As of October 1, 2018, the reference interval for Anti-Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody levels has been updated to 0.0 to 34.9 IU/mL from 0.0 to 8.9 IU/mL. This change is due in part to client feedback resulting in an audit of the existing range and leading to discovery that it had not  been updated when the instrument had been changed.

We appreciate and welcome any and all client feedback; if you identify what may appear to be an incorrect reference interval, please notify us immediately using the “Contact Us” link above.

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, Immunochemistry

Collection Update to QuantiFERON Gold

Effective immediately, QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test (QFT), the industry-leading Interferon-gamma Release Assay (IGRA) for TB detection used at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is being replaced by the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus).

The QFT-Plus is now optimized with innovative tuberculosis-specific antigens that elicit both CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, enabling a more comprehensive assessment of cell-mediated immune response to TB infection. The test principle, procedures, and specimen handling will remain the same with the one exception being that the collection kit will now consist of four tubes instead of three. Three-tube collections can no longer be accepted and will thus be canceled.

If you have three-tube collection kits, please order new four-tube collection kits in Lawson (#54909) or via the Lab Supply Order Form.

Please direct urgent questions to the Laboratory Call Center at 616-774-7721 or for non-urgent inquiries use the “contact us” link above.

Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Chlamydia and Gonococcus Testing on Pediatric Patients

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory is not validated to perform Chlamydia and Gonococcus testing on pediatric patients under the age of 14 years old. Testing for these patients must be sent to a reference laboratory. Please order a Reference Miscellaneous Test (#LAB848) and indicate complete test name when ordering. Continue Reading

General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Supply Discontinuation: Sequenom Collection Kits

Effective August 1, 2018, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will no longer stock Sequenom Collection Kits. If a patient presents with a Sequenom Collection Kit, our outpatient phlebotomy staff will continue to aid the patient in collection.  If needed, please order Sequenom  Collection Kits from the manufacturer.

Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will still offer Panorama Collection Kits. For more information on Panorama testing please click here.

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, General Information

PNH Flow Cytometry Test Results

High sensitivity flow cytometry testing for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a test done on patient’s peripheral blood to screen for the presence or absence of PNH clones and/or to follow PNH clonal populations.  The lower limit of detection of a PNH clone for the Spectrum Health laboratory has been validated as 0.01% (1:10,000) for red cells, 0.01% (1:10,000) for granulocytes and 0.1% for monocytes (1:1000).

The results from PNH flow cytometry testing can guide the clinical team in classifying a patient’s disease appropriately, analyzing the risk of disease progression, and choosing appropriate testing to monitor response to treatment. Therefore, the PNH flow cytometry test result will now include a pathologist’s interpretation based on the new recommendations given in Updated ICCS/ESCCA Consensus Guidelines for the Clinical Utility of Testing for GPI-Anchor Deficient Clones in Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria (PNH) and other Bone Marrow Disorders (Accepted article by Dezern and Borowitz, doi: 10.1002/cyto.b.21608).