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Wellington SCL Newsletter & Clinical Update


23rd June 2016  -  Please forward this email to all clinical staff

Please find this month's  latest update from your laboratory provider, Wellington SCL. In this newsletter we cover :
  • Analytical equipment change for high volume serology infectious markers
  • Change of assay for serum folate
  • eLab - updated prompt 
  • New specimen container
  • Reminder that from 4th July vaginal swabs will not be processed unless appropriate clinical details are provided on the request form. 

Analytical Equipment Change For High Volume Serology Infectious Markers 

From Sunday 26th June the analytical equipment used to perform the high volume infectious diseases serology testing (HBsAg, anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBe, anti-HBcore, HIV 1,2 Ag/Ab, anti-HCV, Syphilis, CMV IgM & IgG, Toxoplasma IgM & IgG) is changing from Abbott assays to Roche assays.

The crossover studies performed did not identify any significant variation in performance of any of these assays, however if you note  a specific change in results in a patient you are monitoring then please discuss with Paul Tustin Head of Immunology Department.
Head of Immunology Department 

Change Of Assay For Serum Folate

With effect from 22nd June 2016, Wellington SCL will be changing to a new assay for serum folate. This change is due to the restandardisation of the existing assay from Roche Diagnostics, to establish traceability to the latest WHO International Standard, WHO IS 03/178.

Based on the information provided by Roche Diagnostics and our own data, the new results generally will be 20% lower than with the current assay, although the effect is mainly seen for results of <23 nmol/L. Individual results may be up to 50% lower, particularly when the folate is at the level of 12 nmol/L or below. Thus, the results from the new assay cannot be directly compared to the existing assay and this should be taken into account when interpreting the results.
The reference interval for serum folate currently in use is based on multiple lines of evidence from international population data and there is no good evidence to support an adjustment with the change of the assay. The existing reference interval for folate is 9-45 nmol/L and 7-9 nmol/L is considered to be borderline. Overall, folate deficiency is uncommon in our population. From our laboratory data, only 5% of results for folate are below 12 nmol/L. The majority of patients will remain in the same category of folate status related to the current interval, despite variations in the folate results with the change of assay.
Dr Carol Siu, Chemical Pathologist

Dr Alwyn D’Souza, Haematologist 

eLab Prompt Change 

For eLab users from the 4th July when requesting a TSH or T4 there will be a mandatory prompt regarding Thyroxine medication.  

New Specimen Container 

We have recently changed the supplier of the 70mL specimen container.  The thread of the new container is more secure, and the lid of the container is yellow.  These are now being distributed to the practices.  
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Wellington SCL
Level 5, CSB
Riddiford Street, Newtown
Wellington 6021
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Aotea Pathology Limited · CMC Building · 89 Courtenay Place · Wellington, Wgn 6011 · New Zealand

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