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Test Utilization

Education & Training, General Information, Test Utilization

Appropriate Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Ordering

The most conclusive evidence for using thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPO) is predictive in nature when evaluating possible subclinical hypothyroidism.  If this test is positive, hypothyroidism occurs at a rate of 4.3% per year versus 2.6% per year when the antibody is negative.  While this scenario does not cover all clinical indications for ordering TPO, there is no definitive evidence that repeat TPO testing provides additional information.1

Based on this information the ordering of TPO within Spectrum Health is being modified.  If the test is ordered more than once on a patient, a screen will appear in EPIC indicating the following: “This test should typically only be resulted once per lifetime.  The duplicate checking indicates that this patient has already had this testing performed.  Please see chart review for results.”   This is not a “hard stop” but providers will need to click “Continue” to proceed with the order. Continue Reading

General Information, Immunochemistry, Main lab, Test Utilization

Protein Electrophoresis Testing Update

In December, serum and urine protein electrophoresis testing will be simplified and standardized.  The only testing available will be:

Protein electrophoresis, serum, IFE if indicated 

Protein electrophoresis, random urine, do IFE if indicated 

Protein electrophoresis, 24 hour urine, do IFE if indicated 

In addition, on December 5, 2019, a new panel will be added which reflects expert recommendations for first line testing for monoclonal gammopathy, including plasma cell myeloma and most cases of amyloidosis, called “Monoclonal Gammopathy Screen

Protein electrophoresis, serum, IFE if indicated 

Kappa and lambda free light chains  Continue Reading

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

Referral/Sendouts, Test Utilization

Anti-Thyroglobulin Orders Received in Conjunction with Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker Orders

Effective immediately, Anti-Thyroglobulin (Anti-TgAb) requests if received in conjunction with Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker (Tg-TM) requests, will be canceled. Tg-TM tests are sent to Mayo Medical Laboratory; where both Tg-TM and Anti-TgAb are performed and resulted as part of the Tg-TM order. This is a laboratory best practice as anti-thyroglobulin autoantibodies (Anti-TgAb), which occur in 15% to 30% of thyroid cancer patients, could lead to misleading Tg results (falsely positive or falsely negative).

Questions may be directed to Dr. David Alter, using the “Contact Us” link above.

Microbiology, Test Utilization

Influenza Epidemic Testing Recommendations 2018

Influenza is currently widespread throughout the nation at epidemic proportions. During influenza epidemics, clinical assessment predicts the presence of influenza infection virtually as well as laboratory testing. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to perform viral testing on ambulatory patients who present with illness consistent with influenza before beginning antiviral treatment. Antiviral treatment for Influenza should be started as soon as possible to have a beneficial effect.

Shortages of supplies and medications frequently occur during Influenza epidemics. However, diagnosis of specific viral respiratory infection remains important for hospitalized patients.

Please follow the current recommendations:

  • Limit availability of viral transport media at ambulatory sites.
  • Emergency departments are to limit viral respiratory testing to patients expected to be admitted.
  • Do not perform testing for test of cure.

Thank you for your support during this time. Please direct any questions to Laboratory Services via the “contact us” link above.

Immunochemistry, Test Utilization

Test Utilization: Cardiolipin Antibody Testing

Listed below are the Cardiolipin Antibody tests available in the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) catalog. Please review the tests and the recommended test utilities.

Cardiolipin IgA testing should not be ordered unless the patient is negative for IgM and IgG. It should be restricted to very specific clinical scenarios for the evaluation of patients with suspected APS (Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome). Cardiolipin IgA requests will be reviewed for presence or absence of IgM/IgG testing.

Questions may be directed to Dr. David Alter by using the contact us link above.