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January 2018

Clin Lab 2.0: Add value, make patients better

January 2018—It was baseball’s Yogi Berra who said, with the unique slant that was his hallmark, “In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.” More vividly, boxer Mike Tyson once summed up the same reality when asked to comment on an opponent’s strategy in an upcoming match: “Everybody has a plan—until they get hit.”

Genotype-guided dosing of warfarin: GIFT wrap-up

January 2018—In an ideal world, clinical research data would be applied with immediate and beneficial effect to clinical practice, especially when the data come from a well-controlled, well-run trial that meets the gold standard of being large, randomized, and blinded. However, as the Sept. 26 publication of the Genetic Informatics Trial to evaluate genotype-guided dosing of warfarin demonstrates, reality is far more complicated (Gage BF, et al. JAMA. 2017;318[12]:1115–1124).

Next-gen sequencing finds further clinical utility in oncology

January 2018—One of the plenary sessions at the 2017 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology—“High Impact Molecular Diagnostics for Cancer and Inherited Diseases”—was a virtual mini-course in the latest and most useful applications of next-generation sequencing to detect germline and somatic mutations in cancer. Both speakers zeroed in on the clinical utility of their innovative diagnostic techniques.

New Color Atlas of Hematology to be used ‘in the wild’

January 2018—New this month from CAP Press is the second edition of the Color Atlas of Hematology: An Illustrated Field Guide Based on Proficiency Testing. “More and better are the watchwords,” senior editor Eric F. Glassy, MD, told CAP TODAY when we asked what the reader can expect. The second edition (the first was published in 1998) is the fourth CAP Color Atlas Dr. Glassy has worked on in the past 20 years, and it is the “most ambitious yet,” he says, “and the next logical progression in the continuous effort to provide access to the remarkably rich data in the CAP’s proficiency testing archive.” David Blomberg, MD, and Katherine Galagan, MD, are associate editors.

From the President’s Desk: A shared vision for cancer staging, 1/18

January 2018—For me, friendships formed and lessons learned have more than compensated for the effort invested over the years on CAP committees, but make no mistake: When we meet, what we’re doing is work. The professional engagement is enjoyable, but a person can get tired toward the end of a two-day meeting, not to mention homework in the evenings.

Devices, decisions: POC glucose in the critically ill

January 2018—Using point-of-care glucose meters in critically ill patients can feel like tiptoeing through a regulatory minefield. Perhaps your preferred meter hasn’t been cleared by the FDA for use in this population. Or maybe you’re not sure which assay performance requirements should be regulating the performance of your meters. Or perhaps you’re still trying to define “critically ill.”

Lab needs driving coagulation analyzer market

January 2018—Customer wish lists help to define every generation of coagulation analyzers, test menus, and related technologies. That’s evident in the recent and upcoming launches and the ongoing work of the companies whose analyzers are profiled in this issue in the 2018 coagulation analyzer product guide.

AABB seeks comments on form to streamline transfusion adverse reaction reporting

January 2018—The AABB is seeking comments by March 30 on its common transfusion reaction reporting form, the seven pages of which are presented online at The fillable PDF form is intended to be used by hospitals and blood centers to communicate information about transfusion reactions to the blood supplier, particularly when there are multiple suppliers to the hospital transfusion service.

Cytopathology in focus: Standardized reporting for breast FNAB cytology

January 2018—In countries with developed medical infrastructure, the use of breast fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) cytology has had its share of challenges over the past 20 years, among them the use of core needle biopsies. In developing countries where the use of FNAB cytology has been increasing rapidly, breast lesions are one of the most common sites sampled by FNAB. In 2016, the International Academy of Cytology Executive Council put together a “Breast Group,” which consists of cytopathologists, surgical pathologists, radiologists, surgeons, and oncologists working in breast care, with the aim of producing a comprehensive and standardized approach to breast FNAB cytology reporting.

Cytopathology in focus: A right and a wrong way to use CAP educational kits

January 2018—The CAP Cytopathology Committee constructs educational and interlaboratory comparison kits that are distributed regularly to cytotechnologists, cytopathologists, and pathologists who want continuing education in cytopathology. The purpose of the kits is to make it possible for those who screen and diagnose cytology slides to maintain and update their skills. However, the Cytopathology Committee has been made aware that the kits have been employed for purposes other than education. We address here the potentially detrimental uses to which some laboratories are putting these educational kits and advise laboratories to use them only as they were intended.