Lab News
Popular rule-out test for thyroid cancer draws scrutiny
July 19, 2019 -- Researchers are questioning whether a commonly used gene expression classifier test for evaluating indeterminate thyroid nodules lives up to expectations, based on a systematic review and meta-analysis published online July 18 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. The test is used to determine whether patients should be sent on for thyroid biopsy or surgery.  Discuss
Electronic health records make case for more kidney function testing
July 17, 2019 -- A large study of electronic health records showed that many patients do not get the follow-up tests they need after abnormal glomerular filtration rate results for a variety of reasons, including out-of-pocket costs for lab tests. Findings were published online July 16 in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases.  Discuss
AAIC update: Where blood-based dementia tests stand in 2019
July 16, 2019 -- Against the shadowy backdrop of multiple failed trials in Alzheimer's disease, hope springs eternal for a reliable, noninvasive blood test for dementia, as shown by studies presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) in Los Angeles on July 15.  Discuss
Artificial intelligence takes root in pathology
July 15, 2019 -- Artificial intelligence -- the simulation of human intelligence processes by software -- is reaching commercial pathology labs and has begun to significantly impact the way specimen images are read and diagnoses are made, bringing new understanding about the molecular basis of disease.  Discuss
C-reactive protein tests help curb antibiotic use in acute COPD
July 11, 2019 -- Point-of-care testing for the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein helped reduce the use of antibiotics for acute cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), without an apparent knock on health outcomes, in a prospective U.K. study published in the July 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.  Discuss
WHO expands essential diagnostics list
July 10, 2019 -- The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on July 9 that it has updated its Model List of Essential In Vitro Diagnostics with a number of notable changes, including a new section on cancer and the addition of more general laboratory tests, such as for iron/anemia and thyroid function.  Discuss
Molecular signature shows small cell cancers are birds of a feather
July 9, 2019 -- The analysis of tissue samples has paved the way for a molecular signature for small cell neuroendocrine cancers that could be used to develop treatments that work across tumor types, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles reported in the July 8 issue of Cancer Cell.  Discuss
Study provides more ammo against testing vitamin levels
July 8, 2019 -- Results from a massive meta-analysis of nutritional supplements published on July 8 cast more doubt on the value of testing for levels of vitamin D and supplementing accordingly for heart health, though study limitations leave questions open about potential benefits.  Discuss
Study calls for monogenic screening in type 1 diabetes
July 5, 2019 -- Young people with type 1 diabetes should undergo genetic screening for monogenic variants of the disease, according to a Joslin Diabetes Center study of patients who had been dependent on insulin for more than 50 years. Results were published on July 2 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.  Discuss
Inflammatory biomarker blood tests play the field in concussion
July 3, 2019 -- Blood testing for inflammatory biomarkers -- interleukin 6 and interleukin 1 receptor antagonist -- is helpful for assessing young football players for concussion and appears complementary to brain-specific markers, researchers reported in Neurology on July 3.  Discuss
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