The diagnostic evaluation of allergic disease occurs in the context of a patient’s complete clinical presentation. Important factors include, age, clinical signs and symptoms, relevant allergen exposures, and the performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values) of the allergy tests themselves. Allergy tests yield information about sensitization to allergens, which is not always equivalent to allergic hypersensitivity (i.e., sensitivity); thus, interpretation in the context of clinical history is essential for accurate diagnosis.
The following tests are now available:
Tree Nut Component Allergens
In addition to allergen components for egg, milk, and peanut, the test menu at Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory has expanded to offer component testing for tree nuts. Component testing measures sIgE antibodies to individual proteins unlike whole allergen testing which measures the presence of specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) antibodies to a combination of allergenic and non-allergenic proteins. This next generation testing identifies the source of sensitization and helps the clinician assess the risk of systemic reaction.
On March 21, 2017, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (SHRL) will be switching instrument/vendors that perform the Beta CTX (BCTX assay); we will be switching from the ROCHE COBAS® platform to the ISYS-IDS platform. Both methods compare very well, however reference ranges will change due to the different methods.
Effective March 20, 2017, Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory’s Immunology department will be switching dsDNA vendors from Varelisa ™ to ThermoFisher/Phadia ™.
Both manufacturers (mfr) have similar methods but different reference criteria presumably due to manufacturer specific dsDNA epitopes identified.
As of February 7, 2017 the method/instrument used for the Growth Hormone assay performed at the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory will be switched from ROCHE COBAS to the IDS- iSYS. A method comparison between the two methods showed excellent clinical and numerical comparability. The assay also performed excellently in terms of precision and linearity.