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April 2018

TB testing: new approaches to old scourge

April 2018—Scratch the surface of TB testing, and things quickly get interesting. The standard skin reaction test, widely adopted by the early 1940s, is still in use today. The goal has remained steady as well: break the transmission cycle. “From the clinician perspective and the laboratory perspective, because of its infectious nature, we want to identify people with latent tuberculosis,” says Elitza Theel, PhD, lab director for the infectious disease serology laboratory, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories.

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LCIS variants and DCIS: tips on telling them apart

April 2018—DCIS or LCIS? Making the distinction can be difficult in some cases. Stuart J. Schnitt, MD, in a session at CAP17 on ancillary testing in breast pathology, delineated the reasons and provided tips, including the role of E-cadherin immunostains to help in this distinction. The cells of DCIS typically show strong membrane staining for E-cadherin while the cells of LCIS are typically E-cadherin negative. But among the tips: If an in situ lesion is E-cadherin positive, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s ductal carcinoma in situ. As he demonstrated in several cases, the lesion could be lobular carcinoma in situ with aberrant E-cadherin immunostaining.

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Turnover in phlebotomy: looking deeper than pay

April 2018—Laboratory managers struggling to reduce turnover among phlebotomists should look beyond the pay and examine their hiring and management practices and the dysfunction that could be creating walls between analytical and preanalytical staff. “It’s an enormous problem,” Dennis J. Ernst, MT(ASCP), NCPT(NCCT), director of the Center for Phlebotomy Education, says of phlebotomist turnover. “There’s no silver bullet because there are so many things that lead phlebotomists to give up hope where they work and in the profession. It’s critical that managers are tuned in to the needs of this specialized workforce because they’re varied and many.”

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POC glucose: views on volume, critical care, ACOs

April 2018—Test volume, limitations on devices used in critical care, consolidation, and population health is what CAP TODAY asked about when it spoke in March with the makers of three bedside glucose testing systems. Their systems and those of two other companies are profiled on pages 44-49. “The customers are more aware than ever of the limitations that are in the package inserts from the glucose manufacturers,” says Corrine Fantz, PhD, director of medical and scientific affairs for point-of-care testing, Roche Diagnostics. But she and Kevin Peacock, clinical marketing manager, HemoCue America, say there is still confusion. Here is more of what they and others told senior editor Amy Carpenter Aquino.

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