The early symptoms of myeloma are not very specific, but if a patient’s haemoglobin and plasma viscosity are both abnormal, this should prompt urgent blood and urine testing for the presence of abnormal proteins.
From early October NHS England will launch a new Genomic Medicine Service for routine care across the country by linking hospitals to specialist genomic centres.
This article , written by an NHS Pathologist, highlights the variety of work done in laboratories, and how it impacts on patient care. Approximately 70% of all diagnoses made in the NHS involve pathology and biomedical science.
Genetic testing of tumour tissue removed at during surgery may identify women with early breast cancer who do not need chemotherapy.
It has been known for some years that taking large doses of biotin can effect some lab test results.
A study of the risks and benefits of screening for prostate cancer with a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, found that a group of 64,436 men aged 50 to 59 years followed for a mean of 10 years after a one-off blood test had the same death rate from the disease (0.29%) as a control group of men who did not have a PSA screening test performed.
A study from Sheffield University has shown that if a blood sample takes a long time to break down after clotting, there is an increased risk of a further heart attack, or death due to cardiovascular disease.
Some cases of unexplained infertility are associated with high normal levels of the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland (TSH) according to a study published online in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism on 19 December 2017. The authors’ study included a control group of women who were infertile because their male partners’ sperm counts were inadequate. Twice as many women with unexplained infertility had TSH results in the upper part of the normal reference range (26.9%) as women in the control group (13.5%). The authors concluded that further studies are warranted to see if treatment to reduce concentrations of TSH can reduce the time to conception.
On 29 October 2015 we reported that Scottish research on 4,870 patients with chest pain had shown that 99.6% of those with a low high-sensitivity cardiac troponin concentration on arrival at hospital had not had a heart attack. With international cooperation, the same researchers have now investigated troponin concentrations from 22,457 patients with chest pain on arrival at 19 hospitals worldwide. Statistical analysis confirmed that 99.5% of those with a low troponin concentration had not had a heart attack.
A new ‘reflex’ method of organising antenatal screening tests is assessed in a recent issue of Genetics in Medicine. It includes identification of baby’s cell-free DNA in mother’s blood for the diagnosis of Down’s syndrome (and also the less common and potentially fatal Edwards and Patau syndromes) . The authors conclude that no other method of antenatal screening has such a high detection rate for such a low false-positive rate.