On June 27th, the name of the current order “Respiratory (non-sputum) Culture without Gram stain” will change to “Throat Culture Comprehensive.” All other specimen collection details and culture workup will remain the same. Given the fact that there are currently several similarly named tests, this change is being made to reduce confusion regarding test selection and to clarify acceptable specimen types.
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.