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Acute Care

Chemistry, Education & Training, Main lab

Test Update: AST and ALT

Go-Live Date: 3/2/22

Due to new instrumentation at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital Laboratory (BIRL) and to standardize across the Spectrum Health system, we will be adopting new tests for AST and ALT. The difference between our current test and this new test is the addition of the co-factor pyridoxal phosphate (Vitamin B6). The new test is the recommended test of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and ultimately will provide our patient population more accurate AST and ALT results. We did not adopt the new test in the past because it came with logistical and stability issues that made its use in the lab difficult. The new instrumentation we obtained has solved some of these concerns.

Historically, if patients had a Vitamin B6 deficiency, their AST and ALT levels may have been falsely lower than the true values. This decrease was due to the lack of endogenous co-factor causing a slower reaction rate when we tested the patient sample. After we implement the new test across the system, you may notice an increase in your patient’s AST and ALT results. This increase may be evidence that your patient had some degree of Vitamin B6 deficiency. If you were trending results, we recommend you establish a new baseline with the new test versions. The lab has been changed slightly in EPIC to prevent trending between the two test versions, since the results may not be able to be correlated if your patient had a Vitamin B6 deficiency. Continue Reading

General Information, Hematology

Test Update: Cell Count with Differential, Body Fluid

Beginning Tuesday, January 4, 2022, Spectrum Health Laboratories will include an automated neutrophil (PMN) count on Cell Count with Differential, Body Fluid (LAB210) orders for peritoneal body fluids.   This component will be displayed in Epic as an absolute PMN count, body fluid.

• The absolute PMN count in the peritoneal fluid is calculated by multiplying the total nucleated cell count by the percentage of PMNs in the differential.

• This calculation aids in the diagnosis of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP).

• The diagnosis of bacterial peritonitis is established by a positive peritoneal fluid bacterial culture and an elevated peritoneal fluid absolute PMN count (≥250 cells/uL).

• Epic will automatically calculate the absolute PMN count in peritoneal body fluids based on the manual differential data.

• This component ONLY calculates for Cell Count with Differentials (LAB210) on PERITONEAL BODY FLUIDS Continue Reading

General Information, Hemostasis/Coagulation

Test Update: Prothrombin Time (Protime/PT)

Effective December 6, 2021, Spectrum Health Reference Laboratory (SHRL) Coagulation department will go live with a new lot of Prothrombin Time (Protime/PT) reagents. The reference range for the PT will be adjusted to reflect this reagent lot change and align with our Regional Laboratories. The new reference range will be 9.5 – 12.0 seconds. There will be no change to the INR ranges.

Test Current Reference Range New Reference Range
Prothrombin Time (PT) 9.7 – 12.6 seconds 9.5 – 12.0 seconds

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Hemostasis/Coagulation

Update: PT/INR Resulting Change

The Spectrum Health Laboratory Coagulation Department announces the following changes occurring on 6.29.21 because of new instrumentation:

• New coagulation instrumentation will go-live on 6.29.21.

• This new instrumentation will align the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory (in GR) with current Regional/Blodgett reportable upper limit for Protime/INR results.

• The current Protime (PT) upper limit of 120 seconds will change to 90 seconds. Any result that is greater than 90 seconds, will be reported as >90 seconds.

• The current INR upper limit of 12.0 will change to 8.0. Any result that is greater than 8.0 will be reported as >8.0.

Any questions can be directed to the Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Coagulation Department using the Contact Us link above.

TEST INFORMATION 

PT/INR (Protime with INR): Epic Code #LAB320 | Interface code #10059 | CPT #85610

General Information, Hemostasis/Coagulation

Update: Platelet Aggregation Studies

The Spectrum Health Regional Laboratory Coagulation Department will be going live with the Helena AggRam analyzer on February 3, 2021.  This analyzer uses platelet rich plasma to analyze human platelet aggregation which is measured by absorbance.  The following aggregating agents are used in these studies: Arachidonic Acid, ADP, Collagen, Epinephrine, and Ristocetin.

Patients for platelet aggregation studies should be resting, fasting, and non-smoking. Patients should avoid taking any prescription or over the counter medications known to affect platelet function for ten (10) days to two (2) weeks prior to the studies. For a list of medications known to have anti-platelet effects, click here. Continue Reading