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January 2014

Cytopathology and More | Effectiveness of the HPV vaccine in Australia

January 2014—A school-based quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine program was introduced in Australia in April 2007 for 12- to 13-year-old girls. This program was also extended to 14- to 17-year-old girls in schools and to 18- to 26-year-old women in the community. The vaccination program has been highly successful, with uptake rates of 86 percent, 82 percent, and 75 percent for doses one, two, and three, respectively. Australia also has an established National Cervical Screening Program. Screening is recommended at age 18, or two years after the onset of sexual activity.

Coagulation analyzers:
New analyzers, assays, controls, and PEP

January 2014—With the new year come fresh offerings from coagulation analyzer manufacturers, of which at least two have launched entirely new testing systems. Instrumentation Laboratory’s ACL AcuStar hemostasis system has been “met with great enthusiasm for its speed, accuracy, and comprehensive line of high performance chemiluminescent assays,” says Venita C. Shirley, director of marketing for commercial operations in North America.

Medicare physician fee schedule: Advocacy pays off, though 2014 CMS cuts will sting

January 2014—A grassroots effort that mobilized pathologists around the country, and subsequent pressure from pathologists’ congressional representatives, beat back plans to limit non-hospital Medicare payments. But other pay changes instituted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have created significant concerns for physicians and laboratories.

Put It on the Board, 1/14

January 2014—In a sweeping set of recommendations, the Infectious Diseases Society of America says higher federal funding and an easier regulatory pathway are needed to help encourage the development of tests that will diagnose infections more quickly and accurately.

Clinical Pathology Selected Abstracts, 1/14

January 2014—Predictive factors for blood transfusion in living donor pediatric liver transplantation: Patients undergoing liver transplantation, in particular pediatric liver transplantation, may receive massive transfusion. However, technical surgical improvements over the years have made it possible for many patients undergoing pediatric living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) to avoid transfusion.

Anatomic Pathology Selected Abstracts, 1/14

January 2014—Flat pattern of nephrogenic adenoma unveiled using PAX2 and PAX8 immunohistochemistry; Managing borderline atypical ductal hyperplasia/ductal carcinoma in situ on breast needle core biopsy; Classic lobular neoplasia on core biopsy: a clinical and radiopathologic study with followup excision biopsy; Intestinal-type endocervical adenocarcinoma in situ: a subset of AIS affecting older women; Oncotype DX recurrence score: use of pathology-generated equations from linear regression analysis; Neuroendocrine carcinoma of the stomach: characteristics and prognosis; Interobserver reproducibility in diagnosis of high-grade endometrial carcinoma; Features associated with metastatic potential in invasive adenocarcinomas of the lung

Clinician-friendly tactics slash unwarranted testing

January 2014—A child born recently at Broward Health Medical Center was definitively diagnosed, without testing, as having a significant genetic abnormality. A medical resident eager to put his education into practice ordered genetic testing for the newborn, two normal siblings, and the child’s parents.

Introducing patients to their pathology reports

January 2014—Meaningful use standards are fostering increasing patient access to medical records, including pathology reports. Yet pathology reports can be challenging even for clinicians, much less for patients, to understand. Nonetheless, it is typically left to the treating non-pathologist clinician to explain the findings to the patient, even when the clinician lacks detailed knowledge of pathologic features.

Labs weighing pros, cons of micro TLA

January 2014—Sleek specimen processing instruments, often with sophisticated robotics, are features of many larger microbiology laboratories, despite the longstanding belief that microbiology is too complex to automate. But total laboratory automation (TLA) has not yet gained a foothold in the U.S., even though there are several installations in microbiology laboratories in Europe. Could 2014 be the year that total microbiology laboratory automation comes into its own?

Getting to the point in fragile X syndrome

January 2014—Can one equal 600? Is it possible for a mutation in a single nucleotide base in the FMR1 gene to be as potent as a run of more than 200 triplet repeats in causing fragile X-like symptoms? That was the question Stephen T. Warren, PhD, FACMG, raised in his keynote lecture at the 2013 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology. Two decades ago Dr. Warren and others showed that expansion of CGG triplet runs in the FMR1 gene is responsible for fragile X syndrome, or FXS. At the AMP meeting, Dr. Warren, who received the AMP Award for Excellence in Molecular Diagnostics, presented evidence that a point mutation in an FMR1 gene with a normal CGG repeat number can also cause intellectual disability and developmental delay, just as triplet repeats do, accompanied by other, non-FXS manifestations. In at least one case, a point mutation caused the full fragile X syndrome.

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