Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

medical staff pulse newsletter

Text size: A A A
A BI-WEEKLY PUBLICATION FROM THE CEDARS-SINAI CHIEF OF STAFF May 11, 2012 Issue | Archived Issues

New FDA alerts

Pharmacy focus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued updates and warnings for phenytoin, fosphenytoin, dronedarone, aliskiren and other drugs.

» Read more


Physician news

David Rimoin, MD, PhD, named an American College of Physicians master, Ilana Cass, MD, selected for the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine fellowship, a Kawasaki disease study by Moshe Arditi, MD, honored at conference, and Robert H. Baloh, MD, PhD, received ALS Association award.

» Read more


Meetings and events


Grand rounds

Click here to view upcoming Grand Rounds.


Upcoming CME conferences

Click below to view a complete list of all scheduled Continuing Medical Education conferences.

CME Newsletter - May 2012 (PDF)

Share Your News

Won any awards or had an article accepted for publication? Share your news about professional achievements and other items of interest.

Click here to share your news

Test changes in the Core Laboratory

There are many changes taking place in the Core Laboratory. In conjunction with Cedars-Sinai Medicine, the Core Laboratory is constantly looking for improvements that can be made to enhance the quality of care, improve utilization and maintain fiscal responsibility.

In the next month, expect to see the following changes:

  • Implementation of an advanced fourth-generation Abbott HIV Antigen/Antibody Combo assay that can detect HIV infection up to 20 days earlier than our current assay. The FDA-approved assay can simultaneously detect both HIV-1 or HIV-2 antibodies, and the P24 antigen associated with HIV-1. It will be available seven days per week. The new test will be available to order on May 16.
  • Free T4 test will be performed in-house by direct immunoassay instead of sending out to a reference lab. This will significantly improve turn-around time and will reduce the cost per test. Free T4 by equilibrium dialysis will be available in special cases, but because studies show it is equivalent to direct immunoassay in the majority of cases, it will not be on the test menu. Because of the change in laboratories, the reference range will change slightly from 0.8 -1.8 ng/dL, to 0.7 - 1.48 ng/dL. Reference ranges will be reported with the result value.
  • A new test code will be added to the menu for Adjusted free T4 Index in Pregnancy. This is a calculation done on free T4 that takes into account the variations in thyroid-binding globulin and albumin concentrations in pregnancy. This test remains available if needed for other patient populations at the discretion of the physician.
  • 1,25 (OH)2-vitamin D will be removed from the test menu. The Endocrine Society’s Clinical Guidelines, published in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, recommends use of 25(OH)D as the test of choice to evaluate vitamin D deficiency and recommends against the use of 1,25(OH)2D except in acquired and inherited disorders in the metabolism of 25(OH)D and phosphate. For those rare conditions, it may still be ordered as a "write out" on a down-time paper requisition. A related article on vitamin D will appear in the next issue of Pulse.
  • Testosterone will be brought in-house and run by liquid chromatography, tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). This highly sensitive test can measure testosterone levels in women and men with very low levels and will reduce the turn-around time significantly. This test will be available three times per week with a turn-around time of two days. There will be no change in reference range.
  • Anion Gap will be reported in mEq/L (milli-equivalents per liter) instead of the current practice of reporting mmol/L (milli-moles per liter). This is to conform to international standards and will not change the actual value (the values reported for anion gap remain the same with either unit of measure) as these units are equivalent in this instance.
  • The Substance Abuse Panel (SAS) screen for five drugs will be removed from the Cedars-Sinai Test menu. Substance Abuse Panel Extended (SASE) will be kept in its place, which is a panel of nine drugs of abuse. SASE is a more comprehensive screening panel that includes the same five drugs as the SAS panel. SASE will cover the original substances: opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates and PCP. It also includes: methadone, benzodiazepines, Darvon® (propozyphene) and cannabinoids. There will be no change in reference range or sensitivity.

If you have questions or would like more information about these test changes, please contact Hossein Sadrzadeh, PhD, at (310) 248-7648, Kimia Sobhani, PhD, at (310) 423-5405, Holli Mason, MD, at (310) 423-5360, or Wanda Chan-Cheung at (310) 423-7869.