Carolinas HealthCare System

Featured Tests

Three tests we offer are:

Allergy Blood Test for Children

Persistent runny nose, ear ache, belly pain, skin rash and diarrhea in infants and toddlers may have an underlying allergic basis. Allergy is an inherited (genetic) condition and, in the absence of medical intervention, may result in the age-specific "pediatric allergy march" and ultimately to asthma.

Common food allergens such as milk, egg white, soy, wheat, peanut, walnut, corn and fish may be a cause of eczema and gastrointestinal upset from infancy to age two years. From ages two to five years, allergic children continue to react to food but also become sensitive to year-round inhalant (respiratory) allergens such as house dust mites, cat and dog dander, cockroaches and molds which cause symptoms like cough, runny nose, ear ache and wheezing. After age five years, some children develop allergic symptoms upon exposure to seasonal allergens (especially pollens of grass, trees and weeds) with resultant runny nose, eye irritation, cough, sinus pain and wheezing.

Early medical intervention by identifying specific allergens, teaching allergen avoidance, prescribing appropriate medication, and administering allergy immunotherapy will reduce allergy symptoms and may interrupt the progression to asthma.

To assist in the diagnosis of food and inhalant allergy, the Carolinas Laboratory Network offers the IMMUNOCAP specific IGE and total IGE blood tests. In conjunction with history and physical exam, IGE blood testing maximizes the probability of detecting specific allergens (91 percent positive predictive value) or, no less important, ruling out allergic disease (86 percent negative predictive value).

Results are available in two to three days and are reported as quantitative values that indicate the degree of allergic sensitivity. IMMUNOCAP offers more than 500 allergen choices for blood testing including insect stings, latex and drug allergy. The blood test involves a single draw, is safe, convenient and cost effective. IGE-specific blood test compares favorably with skin tests and is not limited by current medication use.

Sanford Benjamin, MD
704-379-5663

Enterovirus by Real Time PCR on CSF

Enteroviruses are divided into five subgenera (polioviruses, group A cocksackieviruses, group B cocksackieviruses, echoviruses and "newer" enteroviruses) based on differences in host range and pathogenic potential. Infection rates with enteroviruses vary with the season, geography, age and socioeconomic status of the population. Infections occur throughout the year, but are more prevalent in the summer and autumn months in the Northern Hemisphere.

Reverse-transcription followed with PCR is a rapid, sensitive and specific method to detect enterovirus RNA. PCR detects 66 percent to 86 percent enteroviral RNA in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with aseptic meningitis compared with viral isolation rates of 30 percent. This assay is set up to qualitatively detect if a patient is infected with an enterovirus. 

Thrombolelastograph (TEG)

TEG automatically records the physical changes in a sample of whole blood as the sample clots, retracts and/or lyses. The computerized TEG produces a profile of results, which is a measure of the time course of clot formation and strength of the clot. The TEG is sensitive to the function of all components of clot formation, including coagulation factors and platelets, and it can help direct transfusion therapy in the bleeding patient.

 

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