The mitigation strategies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of this virus led to essentially non-existent influenza prevalence during the 2020-2021 winter season. However, influenza has now returned and case numbers are 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.
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.
||Current Reference Range
||New Reference Range
|Prothrombin Time (PT)
||9.7 – 12.6 seconds
||9.5 – 12.0 seconds
Effective immediately, Thyroglobulin Antibody will be performed at Spectrum Health Reference Laboratory (SHRL, Grand Rapids, MI) and will no longer be a sendout to Mayo Clinical Laboratories. Collection instructions and other information may have changed, please visit the lab catalog for more information.
Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker will continue to be a sendout. If a Thyroglobulin Antibody is ordered with a Thyroglobulin Tumor Marker, then the Thyroglobulin Antibody will automatically be canceled as Mayo Clinic Laboratories will perform the Thyroglobulin Antibody as well as the Tumor Marker.
For questions and inquiries, please use the “Contact Us” link above.
New test: Thyroglobulin Antibody [LAB1230840]
Former test: Thyroglobulin Antibody, Serum [LAB1230457]
Mentioned Test: Thyroglobulin, Tumor Marker, Serum [LAB864]
In continued pursuit of alignment, regional market hospital labs have adopted the Sysmex-Siemens automated urinalysis system. This advanced platform elevates analytical control and automation, eliminates manual steps previously required from former systems, and offers the latest in digital particle imagery. Combined with exceptional service engineer support, this system represents a notable step forward in urinalysis performance.
The mitigation strategies enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce the spread of this virus have also impacted the transmission of other respiratory viruses. Influenza is typically prevalent during the winter months (December through March), however, influenza cases were essentially non-existent during the 2020-2021 season and influenza is not currently circulating in our community.
In the absence of circulating influenza activity, it is recommended to use the most sensitive diagnostic test in order to obtain accurate and actionable results. Influenza antigen testing (e.g. Sofia instrument) is not appropriate at this time. More detailed information can be found as published by the CDC: Algorithm to assist in the interpretation of influenza testing results and clinical decision-making during periods when influenza viruses are NOT circulating in the community
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.
PT/INR (Protime with INR): Epic Code #LAB320 | Interface code #10059 | CPT #85610
If you are collecting COVID-19 swabs in your office or clinic, please order and collect using the saline swab kits (“liquid media” or “wet collection”) instead of the tube with no liquid media (“dry collection”).
• Liquid media swab kits will provide a faster turn-around time.
• Dry collection kits supplies are low.
Please refer to the COVID-19 PCR test in the Lab Catalog for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 collection.
• COVID-19 PCR Swab – LAB1230607
Effective March 17, 2021, COVID-19 Serology Testing will be updated from COVID-19 IgG Antibody to COVID-19 Total Antibody
Effective January 26, 2021, the reference range for the Gestational Diabetes 1 Hour Screen will be updated from 65-140 to 65-135. This reference range adjustment is being made to better align with the current practices of our OB/GYN providers for abnormal flagging for gestational diabetes.
Spectrum Health Immunochemistry Laboratory is pleased to announce 5 new allergen tests and the addition of Tryptase. The following allergens are now available: