Communiqué

Mayo Clinic Laboratories is the only laboratory in the world to offer testing for a novel form of autoimmune meningoencephalomyelitis. Known as autoimmune glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) astrocytopathy, the condition was identified by Mayo Clinic in 2016. The GFAP antibody test is offered as part of Mayo Clinic Laboratories’ encephalitis and myelopathy evaluations.

By Barbara J. Toman • June 28, 2019

Mayo Clinic Laboratories is one of the few laboratories in the country to offer two special sequencing-based tests for bacteria in its catalog. The first test is designed to help protect patients by investigating potential outbreaks of a single bacterial species or by identifying recurrent infections in an individual patient. The second has the ability to detect DNA of any bacteria to help identify the cause of an infection.

By Christoph Bahn • June 4, 2019

The exponential increase in the number of diagnostic tests available to physicians (in dermatopathology as well as other medical specialties) can be overwhelming, according to a new multi-institutional study co-published in the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

By Christoph Bahn • April 30, 2019

In the fall of 2017, Shayla Polanchek, a recent recipient of a heart transplant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, returned to campus to review the specimen of her old heart, the one that had been removed from her chest. She had asked to be reunited one last time with the organ that, though flawed, had kept her alive for 38 years.

By Christoph Bahn • March 26, 2019

Autoimmune neurological disorders can often be treated, sometimes with full restoration of function. However, because the symptoms mimic other conditions, autoimmune neurological disorders are frequently misdiagnosed, resulting in an irreversible loss of function.

By Barbara J. Toman • February 11, 2019

Like a thief in the night, multiple myeloma sneaks up on people. The incurable blood cancer almost always starts as a relatively benign condition—monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, or MGUS—that has no symptoms and often goes undiagnosed.

By Barbara J. Toman • January 11, 2019

After a long wait, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has finally approved the Elecsys Troponin T Gen 5 STAT blood test. Recently, the Beckman hscTnI assay was also approved. These high-sensitivity troponin assays will benefit emergency departments across the country because the results will allow for earlier and faster recognition of acute myocardial infarction, which interrupts the blood supply to an area of the heart.

By Christoph Bahn • December 18, 2018

Now in its second year of a five-year initiative to better understand and detect arboviruses in Belize, the IMPACTS (Integrated Mayo Clinic Program for Arbovirus Community health education Training and Surveillance) project has expanded its focus to include tick-borne infections in addition to mosquito-borne diseases, like Zika and dengue. IMPACTS is a four-tiered project that is a joint effort with Mayo Clinic, the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, and the Belize Ministry of Health.

By Christoph Bahn • October 23, 2018

Gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) have revolutionized MRIs by increasing the clinical utility and detection sensitivity of these exams. GBCAs also contain gadolinium, a rare earth metal with unique chemical properties. This article discusses the recent discovery that small amounts of gadolinium remain in human brain tissue following intravenous administration of GBCAs.

By Christoph Bahn • September 18, 2018

While online retailers experiment with drones as a way to swiftly deliver consumer purchases, laboratory medicine physicians and scientists have a lifesaving goal: using drones to rapidly deliver laboratory specimens.

By Barbara J. Toman • June 28, 2018

For people with encephalitis, rapid treatment of their acute brain inflammation is critical for avoiding devastating physical and cognitive deficits. But appropriate treatment requires identifying the culprit causing the symptoms.

By Barbara J. Toman • April 29, 2018

A breakthrough in pathology, achieved more than a century ago (allegedly on a frozen window ledge in Rochester, Minnesota) has evolved into an innovative aspect of care at Mayo Clinic. Mayo is one of the only medical centers in the United States to routinely use a tissue-freezing process that provides analysis of tissue samples while the patient is still in the operating room.

By Barbara J. Toman • March 27, 2018

By taking into account an individual’s genes, lifestyle, and environment, precision medicine offers the prospect of finding individualized therapies that might ultimately cure diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Yet, as with other technological revolutions, precision medicine’s quest for innovation bumps up against a host of legal issues—for patients as well as laboratories and providers of care.

By Barbara J. Toman • January 16, 2018