Lab Tests Online-UK

Lab Tests Online-UK is written by practising laboratory doctors and scientists to help you understand the many clinical laboratory tests that are used in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. The about this site page describes how the site can help you. Search under conditions and diseases and find information on laboratory tests used for particular diagnosis and/or management or alternatively, if you know the test name, just search under tests.

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Topics in the News

Rapid molecular diagnostic test for drug-resistant tuberculosis may help save lives

26 May 2016

The World Health Organization (WHO) released recommendations on 12 May 2016 that aim to speed up the detection, and improve the treatment of multidrug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). A novel molecular diagnostic test is recommended for use in national TB reference laboratories that can identify genetic mutations in MDR-TB strains within 24 – 48 hours and reliably rule out resistance to second-line TB drugs. Early detection of MDR-TB has been one of the major bottlenecks in tackling the global TB epidemic.

Screening for carriers may reduce hospital-acquired cases of C difficile diarrhoea

24 May 2016

Symptom-free carriers of C difficile admitted to hospital can potentially transmit the bacterium to other patients. Research workers from Québec, Canada took rectal swabs from 7599 patients admitted to their hospital from the emergency department to identify those carrying C difficile from its tcdB gene that codes for B toxin. The 368 (4.8%) who had a positive test result were placed in modified contact isolation. The researchers reported online in JAMA Intern Med on 25 April 2016 that, over the 15 months after the introduction of this intervention, the incidence of hospital-acquired C difficile infection decreased to less than half that experienced during the previous six years, falling from 6.9 to 3.0 cases per 10,000 patient-days.

NICE recommends blood tests to help rule out suspected pre-eclampsia

24 May 2016

If a healthcare professional thinks a woman may have pre-eclampsia she is likely to be admitted to hospital for observation. On 11 May 2016 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published an assessment of four new blood tests based on placental growth factor (P1GF) measurement, that are designed to help with the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia. Although showing promise, none has yet been recommended for diagnosis. However, for women between weeks 20 and 35 of pregnancy, two tests were able to predict with 98 to 99% accuracy that eclampsia could be ruled out for the next 7 to 14 days. NICE advised that either test could be used to help decide whether the anxiety, inconvenience and expense of hospital admission was necessary, and if monitoring could continue in the community.

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LTO Wins POA Gold Award
20 July 2015
Lab Tests Online has been honored with a 2015 ASAE Power of A Gold Award.

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Lab Tests Online-UK was established in 2003 with the aid of a grant from the Health Foundation and was financially supported by the Department of Health. Lab Tests Online-UK is currently funded by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the Royal College of Pathologists and the Institute of Biomedical Science.