Mayo Clinic Recognized for ACLPS Young Investigator Awards Program

The Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS) established the Paul E. Strandjord Young Investigator Awards Program in 1979 to encourage students and trainees in laboratory medicine to consider academic careers.

Each year, a call for abstracts is sent to each member, inviting submission of scientific papers. All submitted abstracts are peer reviewed by a committee of ACLPS members. Young Investigator Award recipients are granted free registration to the annual meeting, reimbursement for a portion of travel expenses, and the opportunity to present their scientific work before an audience of peers and mentors.

Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Ph.D.
Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Ph.D.

Hemamalini Ketha, Ph.D.
Hemamalini Ketha, Ph.D.

Nikola Baumann, Ph.D.

Maria Willrich, Ph.D.

Hemamalini Ketha, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic resident for Clinical Chemistry, sponsored by Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich, Ph.D., and Maria Willrich, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic resident for Clinical Biochemistry, sponsored by Nikola Baumann, Ph.D., both received a 2014 Young Investigator Award.

A brief summary of their abstracts are below.

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH) Measurement in Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB) Washings Identifies Parathyroid Tissue With High Specificity

Hemamalini Ketha, Michael A. Lasho, and Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich.* Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Measurement of PTH in fine-needle aspirate biopsy (FNAB) washings following ultrasound-guided biopsy has gained popularity as a means to provide localization of suspected parathyroid lesions and to differentiate parathyroid tissue from thyroid nodules. Interpretation of the PTH concentration in the washout will be influenced by the collection volume, collection technique, and the PTH assay used. The objective was to establish a diagnostic cutoff for PTH in FNAB needle washings that identifies parathyroid-derived tissue with 100% specificity.

Failure of Laboratories to Supplement Aminotransferase Assays with Pyridoxal 5′ Phosphate Leads to Discrepant Results: A Case Report and Investigation of Discrepant Serum AST and ALT Activity in Patient Subgroups

John R. Mills,1 Craig A. Wittwer,1 Dina N. Greene,2 Lynn A. Cheryk,1 Darci R. Block,1 and Nikola A. Baumann.11Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, and 2Kaiser Permanente, TPMG Northern California Regional Laboratory, Berkeley, CA.

The IFCC recommends that aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) assays include pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (P5P/vitamin B6), a cofactor required for maximal activity. Despite these recommendations, the 2013 CAP proficiency testing survey showed <5% of laboratories with Roche chemistry analyzers reported using P5P-supplemented reagents. We present a case report of a patient with P5P deficiency and macroenzyme AST who presented with discrepant AST results from several laboratories, leading to unnecessary workup and additional testing. The objectives of this study were to compare serum AST and ALT measurements using reagents with or without P5P and assess the clinical impact in the general patient population, in patients with P5P deficiency, and in patients with macroAST.

Serum Total B12, Holotranscobalamin, and Methylmalonic Acid in the Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Jeffrey W. Meeusen, Maria A. Willrich, Nikola A. Baumann,* and Alicia Algeciras-Schimnich.* Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Early detection of vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency is essential to prevent potentially serious complications. The biochemical evaluation for B12 deficiency includes measurement of total B12 and methylmalonic acid (MMA). The use of total B12 as the first line for screening is limited by its low sensitivity. MMA is increased in individuals with B12 deficiency but lacks specificity, especially in patients with impaired renal function, limiting its utility. Recently, assays for holotranscobalamin (holoTC), the bioavailable protein-B12 complex, have become commercially available. However, the utility of holoTC in the detection of B12 deficiency is controversial. The objective was to evaluate the performance of B12, holoTC, and MMA in identifying B12 deficiency. Methods: Study cohorts included healthy individuals (n = 210) and patients undergoing B12 deficiency evaluation (n = 239).

Click here to read the full abstracts.

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her kitty, and exploring new foods.