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General Information

Chemistry, General Information, Referral/Sendouts

Test Discontinuation: Red Cell Magnesium

Effective January 1, 2019, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will no longer offer Magnesium, Red Blood Cell [LAB104] as an option for send out testing.  This testing will no longer be available through Spectrum Health’s primary reference laboratory, Mayo Clinic Laboratories.  This test will become obsolete on January 7, 2019, due to limited clinical utility. Continue Reading

General Information

Winter Lockbox Tips!

march-winter-lockboxTo maintain optimal specimen integrity, Spectrum Health Laboratory requests that you load your lockbox properly for winter weather temperatures. Please follow the diagram on the right to prevent freezing of specimens.

Frozen specimen should not be left in the lockbox for after-hours pickup. These tests may be better preserved in the office freezer until the next day’s courier pickup.

Request for specimen pickup should be made to the Laboratory Call Center at 616.774.7721.

Microbiology, Test Utilization

Helicobacter pylori Diagnosis – Serologic Testing is no Longer Recommended

Overview

Clinical guidelines no longer recommend serologic testing as a method for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Rather than IgG serology testing, other non-invasive testing methods such as H. pylori stool antigen and urea breath tests may be used to both diagnose and monitor response to therapy for H. pylori infection. In anticipation of an increase in stool antigen testing, currently a reference lab send-out test, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) will be implementing this test as of October 29, 2018. By offering this test in-house, results will typically be available one day faster than present state. Continue Reading

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