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Laboratory Medicine Updates - March 5, 2002

University of Virginia Health System
Medical Laboratories
“Quality You Expect, Service You Deserve” 


March 5, 2002


Urine Microscopy Update 

The Hematology Laboratory has updated the procedure for performing urine microscopic exams.  A microscopic analysis will be performed on samples from all patients 14 years old and under, regardless of the biochemical findings. A microscopic exam on specimens from patients over 14 years of age will be performed only when indicated:

If the urine is anything other than clear


If the biochemical results for RBC’s, Leukocyte Esterase, or Nitrite are positive


If there is a 1+ or greater protein

Please remember that the accuracy of any urinalysis test decreases with time.

Tissue Transglutaminase now In-house

The Medical Laboratories has evaluated and approved an EIA for the semi-quantitative detection of IgG and IgA antibodies to tissue transglutaminase (endomysium) in human serum.  Detection of these antibodies is an aid in diagnosis of certain gluten sensitive enteropathies such as celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis.  The in-house test will replace the current panel offered by our referral laboratory and utilizes native human tissue transglutaminase isolated from fresh red blood cells. 

Specimen requirements: one 3.5mL gold tube (serum). 

Schedule: The assay will be performed once a week in the Davis Laboratory. 

Reference range is <20 units (negative). 

To order, please indicate in the “other” section of the laboratory test request form “TTG-IgG” or “TTG-IgA” or both.  Each test must be ordered individually to meet federal corporate compliance guidelines.

The assay will be performed in-house beginning March 8, 2002.