Test Bulletin

Dear Healthcare Provider,
The information contained here may be very important to your practice. Please take a moment to review this document.

PSA SCREENING TEST CODE CHANGE

January 21, 2019
Effective January 21, 2019, the Soft code for the PSA Screening test will change from FPSA to PSAS. The change was made to help differentiate the PSA Screening test from the Free PSA test.

OUR NAME HAS CHANGED, BUT OUR SERVICES REMAIN SECOND TO NONE!

We have changed our name to Alverno Laboratories – it’s the name that the industry identified us with, so we decided to make it easier for clients and prospective clients to remember and find us. We hope you enjoy our new look and feel. Our new website at www.AlvernoLabs.com and is ready for you to explore. Let us know if you like it, and share your suggestions with us. Look for more changes in 2019, such as an improved client survey. We are thankful for your patronage, and we look forward to continuing our service as Alverno Laboratories.

C. difficile TEST ALGORITHM UPDATE

January 3, 2019
Following the 2018 IDSA1 and SHEA2 guidelines, Alverno Laboratories will begin utilizing a two-step algorithm for C. difficile testing. This algorithm begins with a rapid EIA assay that detects both bacterial antigen and toxin A and B proteins. When performed at our hospital facilities, this EIA assay will provide improved turnaround time and aid in the infection control process. If the test result is discrepant with a positive antigen but negative toxin, the test will automatically reflex to our Central Laboratory PCR toxin B gene assay for confirmation. Studies have shown this algorithm to be a cost-effective and highly sensitive and specific method for the detection of C. difficile disease3. This new algorithm will not replace PCR testing, which will be available if deemed clinically necessary.

  1. Infectious Disease Society of America
  2. Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
  3. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, June 2010, p. 2082–2086

Specimen Requirements:

Specimen:
Liquid or unformed stool in sterile container with screw top lid
Proper specimens will take the shape of the container

*Do not send stool in transport media due to PCR requirements.

Stability: 2-8°C up to 72 hours
Cause for Rejection: Stool samples in transport media, formalin or alcohol-based fixative.
Method: Enzyme Immunoassay with Polymerase Chain Reaction if reflexed.
CPT code: 81455; 88387; additional CPT 87493 if PCR is performed.

NT proBNP Assay

February 5, 2019
Effective February 5, 2019, Alverno Laboratories will offer an NT proBNP assay for monitoring of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). The NT proBNP assay can be helpful in monitoring patients who are taking Entresto™ to treat CHF. Research shows that Entresto™ can interfere with BNP metabolism, while NT proBNP remains a useful cardiac biomarker to assess therapeutic effect and prognosis in patients treated with neprilysin inhibitors1. It is important to note that BNP levels and NT proBNP levels are not equivalent, and therefore are not interchangeable. The assay specifications are listed below.

Reference Ranges: ≤ 75 years old: 0 – 124 ng/L
> 75 years old: 0 – 449 ng/L

Specimen Requirements:

Specimen: Whole blood EDTA
Stability: 2 hours ambient, 2 days refrigerated at 2-8°C.
SOFT code: PBNP

1Langenickel TH, Dole WP. Angiotensin receptor-neprilysin inhibition with LCZ696: a novel approach for the treatment of heart failure.
Drug Discovery Today: Therapeutic Strategies. Vol. 9, No. 4, 2012; e131-e139.