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December 2013

Hematology lineup gets year-end look

December 2013—They say change is never easy, but Sysmex seems to be making a downright habit of it: “We have replaced almost 80 percent of our portfolio within the past year,” says Alan Burton, the company’s director of IVD product marketing. Coincidentally or not, Sysmex has seen much success in the last 12 months with its introduction of the XN-Series of automated hematology analyzers. “Already there have been well over 500 XN modules installed across North America,” Burton reports.

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Algorithm for HIV testing detects more cases, more quickly

December 2013—Screening to detect HIV infection is poised to make a leap into the 21st century. In his presentations on the proposed new screening algorithm, Bernard M. Branson, MD, points out that in 1989, when the now outmoded algorithm was recommended, the telephone booth was a common sight and the “portable” computer was the size of a small suitcase. Dr. Branson, associate director for laboratory diagnostics in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also points out that 1989 was the year of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the Tiananmen Square massacre.

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HPV a game changer in head, neck tumors

December 2013—Not that any cancer is ever “easy,” but until relatively recently, the culprit in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas was clear. The vast majority were caused by “smoking, smoking, and smoking,” says William Westra, MD, professor of pathology, oncology, and otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and associate director, surgical pathology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Call this HNSCC’s antediluvian era.

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FDA, CDC, and tests steer flu Dx into new season

December 2013—What Soren Kierkegaard said about life applies just as well to flu seasons: They are understood backwards, but they have to be lived forwards. They’re not easy to forecast. And perhaps that’s one reason why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just announced a “Predict the Influenza Season Challenge,” offering $75,000 to the competitor who most successfully predicts the timing, peak, and intensity of the 2013–14 flu season using social media data.

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From the President’s Desk: All systems go, and those who make it so, 12/13

December 2013—Some nonpathologists attribute our ability to negotiate the cutting edge of science and medicine to the tools we use. I’m not saying that tools aren’t important, but we know better. Our ability to navigate today’s volatile waters is the product of an affinity for quality and an inclination for systems-based thinking. First we get it right. Then we get it out.

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Clinical Pathology Selected Abstracts, 12/13

December 2013—Impact of blood product ratios in massively transfused pediatric trauma patients

Few studies have included pediatric patients when analyzing the impact of plasma/packed red blood cell (PRBC) ratios during massive transfusions. The implications of changing to a 1:1 plasma/PRBC ratio are significant and relate to additional product exposure, transfusion reaction-related risk, and product wastage.

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Q&A Column, 12/13

December 2013—Our hematology standardization committee has asked us for input on performing cell counts on tubes No. 1 and No. 4 for cerebrospinal fluid. Each site in our system has a different protocol set up with its emergency department with regard to when a count is performed on tube No. 1 after counting tube No. 4. Some sites use RBC greater than five to automatically count tube No. 1 with or without an order to not delay patient care, whereas other sites use greater than 50 or greater than 200. Is there an established guideline recommendation for the number of RBCs seen on CSF tube No. 4 before doing an additional count on tube No. 1?

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Newsbytes, 12/13

December 2013—How software issues enhanced a vendor’s relationship with its client; Abbott releases new version of LIMS; Viewics introduces payer-focused solution; Syapse debuts clinical ‘omics’ reporting software; Telcor software receives certification as EHR module

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Anatomic Pathology Selected Abstracts, 12/13

December 2013— Human papillomavirus-related carcinomas of the sinonasal tract; Localized and metastatic myxoid/round cell liposarcoma; Urothelial carcinoma with prominent squamous differentiation in neurogenic bladder: role of HPV infection; Atypical leiomyomas of the uterus: a clinicopathologic study of 51 cases; Clinicopathological significance of HER2/neu genetic heterogeneity in various breast carcinomas; EIN with secretory differentiation: features and underlying mechanisms; Glypican 3 and arginase in diagnosing scirrhous hepatocellular carcinoma

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