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Inflammatory biomarkers foreshadow CKD, study finds


March 2018—The central idea of the film Minority Report—that a “precrime” police unit can predict and prevent crimes—still mostly inhabits the realm of science fiction. Luckily, in medicine, researchers studying “predisease” can make headway on prevention by analyzing the laboratory test results from samples collected years earlier, when patients showed no clinical symptoms, that might have been able to predict disorders such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) in those patients.

Why carbapenemase-producing CRE raise the bar

March 2018—When Stephen Brecher, PhD, compares MRSA to carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, the figures of speech come fast and furious. “We are not in Kansas anymore,” he said. “The bar has been raised. I consider MRSA a picnic compared to CP-CRE [carbapenemase-producing CRE].”

Pros and cons of carbapenemase detection tests

March 2018—When it comes to diagnostic tests, everyone wants the same thing Lars Westblade, PhD, wants: A unicorn.
“The diagnostic performance of a test is reflected in its sensitivity and specificity,” Dr. Westblade said. “It has to be a very good test. And then we need to think about the speed of the test.” There’s also the cost. When all these factors come together just so, “we get what’s called diagnostic perfection,” he says, or the rare event that Brandi Limbago, PhD, of the CDC calls “a diagnostic unicorn.”

For AP signout: infectious diseases pathology atlas

March 2018—New from CAP Press this month is the Atlas of Fundamental Infectious Diseases Histopathology: A Guide for Daily Practice, edited by Bobbi S. Pritt, MD, MSc, DTM&H. It covers bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections and contains more than 800 images. It’s intended to be “kept close by and referenced frequently,” says Dr. Pritt, professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, director of the clinical parasitology laboratory, and co-director of the vector-borne disease laboratory, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Here is more of what Dr. Pritt told us about the new atlas.

Gene testing moves cardiomyopathy analysis forward

March 2018—From phenotype to genotype in the understanding and diagnosis of cardiovascular disease—that was the medical journey on which Joseph Maleszewski, MD, and Birgit Funke, PhD, took attendees at a symposium at the November 2017 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology.

Clinical Pathology Abstracts, 3/18

March 2018—Web platform vs. genetic counselor for releasing carrier results from exome sequencing: Genomics can be used to generate a large amount of data that may have important implications for clinical care and selection of therapeutics. However, a bottleneck exists in clinical genomics due to the large volume of results and the lack of availability of knowledgeable professionals to return them to patients in person.

AMP case report: February 2018 test yourself answers

Test yourself
In the February 2018 issue was a report, “Detection of rare deletion mutation in the alpha-globin gene locus establishes …

New HPV guideline for head, neck cancers

February 2018—Like a pair of one-size-fits-all jeans, testing all head and neck carcinomas for human papillomavirus may have seemed like a good idea at one time. In many cases, in fact, HPV testing is just what treating clinicians and patients need. On the other hand, not every head and neck case requires it. Now, a newly published CAP guideline should help physicians figure out the right fit in multiple settings.

Scoring gastric, GEJ cancers for PD-L1 expression

February 2018—To some ears, perhaps, the scientific method connotes a process that is standardized and unimaginative. But inventions like Velcro, vulcanization, and the microwave—all stemming from accidental discoveries—testify to the role of luck and leaps of intuition in formulating and modifying a hypothesis.

Molecular tumor board: a patient with ALK- rearranged lung cancer

February 2018—A case of ALK-rearranged lung cancer was the subject of a multidisciplinary molecular tumor board presented last fall at CAP17 by pathologist Laura J. Tafe, MD, and oncologist Benjamin Levy, MD. Together they offered up insights into the tumor genomics of lung cancer with talk of testing guidelines, targeted therapies, resistance mechanisms, and circulating tumor DNA analysis.