The laboratory will perform a screening test for immunoglobulin bound prolactin (macroprolactin) on samples with a prolactin greater than 600 mIU/L. Please contact the laboratory for further information.
The menopausal transition is best diagnosed on clinical grounds. Endocrine investigation may be helpful where the pattern of age, menstrual history and features of oestrogen deficiency are unusual.
Please indicate the woman’s date of birth, recent menstrual pattern and date of last menstrual period/day of cycle on which the blood sample was collected. A rise in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is the earliest sign of the approaching menopause. Measurement of serum FSH is the recommended first investigation if biochemical confirmation is necessary. The measurement of luteinising hormone (LH), oestradiol or progesterone is not appropriate. A serum FSH in the reference range for the follicular phase does not exclude the perimenopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
HRT when prescribed (orally or transdermally) for the relief of menopausal symptoms does not require endocrine monitoring. Where there is unexpected failure of treatment, for example due to non-compliance or malabsorption, investigation may be useful. Different formulations of HRT may or may not be detected by oestradiol assays. Please indicate on the request form the HRT preparation prescribed.
The main indication for measuring oestradiol in women on HRT is in those receiving implants containing oestradiol. Early replacement of the implant may result in accumulation of oestradiol. Monitoring of serum oestradiol before the implant is replaced has been recommended to avoid supraphysiological concentrations. Sometimes testosterone implants are used in HRT. Measurement of testosterone in an analogous fashion to oestradiol may help to assess whether a further implant may be necessary.
Standard 4 of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease states that:
“General Practitioners and Primary Health Care teams should identify all people at significant risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) but who have not yet developed symptoms and offer them appropriate advice and treatment to reduce their risk”.
Numerous risk calculators are available to calculate risk for coronary disease and these are all based on the Framingham model. The JBS III or the QRISK 2016 calculators are used for the calculation of cardiovascular disease risk. The South Birmingham PCT requires general practice to screen for CVD and any request for ‘CVD risk’ will generate a total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, creatinine and HbA1c (a yellow top and purple top bottle must be supplied). There are freely available calculators available to calculate a ‘CHD risk’ (Coronary heart disease risk) score (e.g. http://www.qintervention.org/)
Please note HDL-cholesterol is only measured when the CHD risk score is requested. We do not provide HDL-cholesterol otherwise on any request for a lipid profile.
Often we are asked to provide LDL-cholesterol calculations. For your convenience the calculation of LDL-cholesterol is provided below but you should recognise that this is only strictly valid where patients attend fasting for at least 12 hours in order to suppress triglyceride concentrations. Triglyceride concentrations >4.5 mmol/L negate the use of the calculation;
LDL cholesterol = Total cholesterol – HDL-cholesterol – (Triglyceride/2.19)
TSH and free thyroxine (fT4) are provided as first-line tests. Since many drugs and treatments affect thyroid function tests, details of all drugs or other treatment must be provided in order that further tests can be initiated by the laboratory as appropriate. Please indicate on request form if patient is on thyroid hormone replacement.
Free T3 is analysed only according to an agreed protocol and full clinical details must be given on the request form.
Thyroid hormone measurements can be misleading in patients with acute and non-thyroid illness. Thyroid status should only be assessed after recovery from acute non-thyroidal illness. 'Screening' of patients in hospital for thyroid illness is not recommended.
Contact the duty biochemist on 0121 3716543 to discuss whether an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is required for a particular patient and/or to book an OGTT. The OGTT is performed at the Diabetes Centre Laboratory in Nuffield House on the QEHB site. In addition, a protocol can be provided for performing an OGTT on wards or in the community.
Protection of Personal Information – Clinical Laboratory Services comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.
University Hospitals Birmingham medical laboratories at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital are UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited to the ISO 15189:2012 standard. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the UKAS website using the following link: https://www.ukas.com/find-an-organisation/
Molecular Pathology is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 8759
Biochemistry is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 8910
Haematology and Transfusion is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 8784
Clinical Microbiology is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 8760
Cellular Pathology is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 10141
Musculoskeletal laboratory is a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No. 9897
Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital pathology laboratories are a UKAS accredited medical laboratory No.8217.
Tests not appearing on the UKAS Schedule of Accreditation currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.