General Information

Albumin Testing Update

Albumin Reagent Conversion

Corewell Health Laboratories (formerly Spectrum Health) has utilized the Bromcresol Purple (BCP) method for the measurement of albumin concentration in serum, plasma, and serous body fluids for well over 20 years. The test principle consists of a reaction where the BCP binds selectively with albumin, causing a color change that is measured photometrically. A vast majority of labs across the country, including reference labs such as Mayo Medical Laboratories, utilize an alternative method for albumin measurement that consists of Bromcresol Green (BCG) instead of BCP. To align with the majority of institutions this size, and to be included in a larger peer group for proficiency testing purposes, Corewell Health Laboratories – West, has been transitioning to BCG for the measurement of albumin over the last few weeks. Continue Reading

Advanced Technology Laboratory

New Tests: Trichomonas PCR, Mycoplasma genitalium PCR, and STI Panel (Alinity)

New Test Announcement

Corewell Health Advanced Technology Laboratory is pleased to announce the addition of Trichomonas, Mycoplasma Genitalium (Mgen), and STI Panel testing on the Alinity m platform.

As of 1/5/2023, Trichomonas vaginalis (TV) and Mycoplasma genitalium (MG) STI tests are available using the Alinity m collection kit and a panel which includes the above plus Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG).

All four tests may be run on one urogenital sample, saving cost and time, and reducing human error.

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Compliance & Safety, Education & Training, General Information, Main lab, Test Utilization

Inform: RSV Testing – Age Restrictions

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) primarily infects pediatric patients, but occasionally infects adults and may be of particular concern for the elderly and immunocompromised. Corewell Health Laboratories offers two tests for RSV. A rapid antigen test may be used to confirm RSV diagnosis in pediatric patients. This test is not approved by the FDA for testing adult patients, so tests will be cancelled if ordered on an off-label age group. There are no age restrictions for RSV testing by way of a molecular panel that also includes COVID and influenza as viruses with overlapping symptoms.

Test name Epic Test ID Methodology Specimen Age restriction
RSV Rapid LAB495 Antigen Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab Approved for patients 0 – 18 years of age
COVID, Influenza, RSV PCR LAB1230746 Molecular/PCR Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab No age restriction
General Information, Test Utilization

Influenza Testing Recommendation (November 2022)

Influenza cases numbers are currently increasing throughout West Michigan. Influenza prevalence guides the most appropriate testing approach and sufficient prevalence has now been reached for influenza rapid antigen testing (e.g. Sofia instrument) to have improved performance. The use of rapid antigen testing as a screening method during high prevalence reduces both the cost to the patient and turn-around-time as compared to lab-based molecular methods. Rapid antigen tests generally have high analytical specificity, but lack the sensitivity of nucleic acid amplification methods (e.g. PCR). For this reason, PCR testing is still recommended for hospitalized patients and for outpatients with a negative antigen result if influenza is still suspected and if the result will impact clinical decision making. Continue Reading

General Information, Hematology

Update: Complete Blood Count (CBC)

Starting November 29th, 2022, Corewell Health West, Hematology Laboratories will begin reporting absolute counts for white blood cell (WBC) manual differentials, in addition to relative (percentage) counts. The WBC differential count determines the number of each type of white blood cell present in the blood. It can be expressed as a percentage or as an absolute value. Of these, the absolute value is much more important than the relative value, given that clinically relevant WBC elevations and declines are defined by their absolute numbers, not by their relative proportions, and there is potential for error if this conversion is performed outside the laboratory. Continue Reading