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April 2015

Put It on the Board, 4/15

April 2015—Door opens on direct access to genetic tests: The FDA’s recent move to give 23and­Me permission to market this country’s first direct-to-consumer genetic test, for Bloom syndrome, goes beyond the one in 107 Jews of Ashkenazi descent who are carriers of the rare disorder.

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Anatomic Pathology Selected Abstracts, 4/15

April 2015—Uterine smooth muscle tumors with features suggesting fumarate hydratase aberration; Histologic and immunohistochemical assessment of penile carcinomas in a North American population; Predictive value of IASLC/ATS/ERS classification of lung adenocarcinoma in tumor recurrence and patient survival; Histomorphology of Lynch syndrome-associated ovarian carcinomas with regard to a screening strategy

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Molecular Pathology Selected Abstracts, 4/15

April 2015—Interpreting pathogenic variants in TTN for dilated cardiomyopathy: In this era of expanding gene panels and whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing for rare disease molecular diagnostics, it remains a challenge to filter numerous resulting variants from these sequencing assays, assign functional consequences of a variant in the resulting protein, and then determine potential pathogenicity.

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Newsbytes, 4/15

April 2015—How a best practice alert cut unneeded transfusions: Embedding a decision support tool in an EMR to nudge physicians toward an evidence-based practice—without ruffling feathers—can be a delicate process. But two physicians at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center did just that when they launched a best practice alert that encourages adherence to new guidelines for ordering blood.

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Q&A column, 4/15

April 2015—Why is the number 12 for lymph node retrieval in colon cancer protocol reporting not specific to the kind of resected specimens and whether a total colectomy was performed? We are establishing a list of maximum allowable dilutions for our clinical chemistry analytes. Are you aware of any reference that would list absurd or invalid values for such analytes, i.e. the endpoint that would determine the most dilutions we would have to do for the highest possible value for that analyte?

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Nothing peripheral about assessing the ‘other’ cytopenias

April 2015—Think age is important only if you’re a Hollywood actress (unless you’re lucky enough to be Meryl Streep)? Think again. Specifically, Joan Etzell, MD, wants pathologists to think about age-adjusted reference ranges for thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. They’re intrinsic to the basic definitions of these diseases, she pointed out in a course on peripheral cytopenias at last year’s AACC meeting.

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Pressing questions in POC glucose testing

April 2015—Sometimes major changes to a health care organization’s point-of-care testing system come from powerful regulatory agencies in Washington, DC. Or they may arise when a child with diabetes objects to frequent venipuncture. In either kind of case, experts say, pathologists and laboratory professionals must form strong relationships with clinicians and build structural foundations to help them meet these and other demands.

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