The Clinical Pathology section is a full service clinical laboratory open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to inpatient and outpatient populations. Clinical Pathology at Danbury Hospital consists of the following services:
- Blood Bank
- Clinical Chemistry
- Clinical Hematology
- Clinical Immunology
- Flow Cytometry
- Molecular Pathology
The Blood Bank is FDA-licensed and responsible for the inventory management, storage, testing and utilization of blood and blood products. It supports the transfusion needs of a number of specialty services including cardiac and vascular surgery, oncology, trauma services and the neonatal intensive care unit. Testing is performed for transfusion of approximately 8,000 components a year.
The section is staffed by medical technologists who have special training in antibody identification, compatibility testing and blood component preparation. Pathologists, with training in Transfusion Medicine, oversee the operation of the department and are available to staff for consultation.
Clinical Chemistry is the most highly automated area of the Laboratory, performing over 1.4 million tests per year from a menu of approximately 150 different tests. The following services are offered:
- State-of-the-art automated analyzers and other equipment
- Testing and results available 24/7 for most tests
- Rapid turnaround for many tests, with results for some tests as soon as 15 to 30 minutes after receipt of the specimen in the laboratory
- A comprehensive menu of tests for blood, urine and other body fluid samples:
- General chemistry tests including blood gases, electrolytes, metabolites, minerals and vitamins, proteins and enzymes, kidney function tests, liver function tests, cholesterol and lipids, anemia tests, cardiac biomarkers
- Endocrinology (adrenal, thyroid, bone, reproductive)
- Therapeutic drugs
- Toxicology (serum, urine)
- Tumor markers (prostate, breast, liver, ovarian, gastrointestinal, colorectal)
- Hepatitis and HIV testing
- Esoteric tests including osmolality, blood lead, sweat testing for cystic fibrosis and protein electrophoresis
- Technical support and oversight for point-of-care (bedside) testing performed by nursing staff
The Hematology and Coagulation section of the Laboratory offers the following services using state of the art equipment:
- Complete Blood Counts (CBC) including hematocrit, hemoglobin, MCV (mean corpuscular volume), red cell, white cell and platelet counts along with WBC differential.
- Coagulation tests including routine prothrombin time (PT) and calculated INR, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), fibrinogen and platelet function assay (PFA). In addition, highly specialized testing is performed including factor assays, heparin assay as measured by Xa, D-dimer to rule out clotting due to deep vein thrombosis, hyper-coagulant testing and platelet aggregation including expert test interpretation by our pathology staff.
Cytogenetics is a branch of genetics that is concerned with the study of the structure, function and abnormalities of human chromosomes. It includes routine analysis of G-Banded chromosomes, other cytogenetic banding techniques, and molecular cytogenetics such as fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH).
Chromosome analysis is useful in prenatal diagnostics, as well as in the diagnosis, staging and prognosis of various neoplastic disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer.
- Conventional or “routine” studies are performed on amniotic fluid, chorionic villus samples, bone marrow aspirates, solid tissues, products of conception and peripheral blood.
- Molecular cytogenetic studies or “FISH” testing may also be performed on various specimen types and enables cytogeneticists to identify various numerical and structural alterations, including aneuploidy, marker chromosomes, complicated or subtle translocations, and submicroscopic deletions and duplications.
The Immunology section of the Laboratory offers the following services:
- Testing on blood samples for Lyme disease (screen and confirmation by Western Blot), babesia, ehrlichia, parvovirus, toxoplasma, cytomegalovirus, lupus erythematosus as well as other connective tissue disease states.
- Vitamin D, 25-OH for bone health
- QuantiFeron™ tuberculosis screening that rules out false positive results due to vaccination
Microbiology Laboratory and Urinalysis
Microbiology is the science and study of microorganisms including protozoans, algae, fungi, bacteria and viruses. The Microbiology and Urinalysis section at Danbury Hospital offers the following services:
- Bacteriology: Isolation and identification of bacteria from urine, upper and lower respiratory, cerebrospinal fluid, blood, genital, stool, and wound/body fluid specimens. Technologists must distinguish bacteria normally present in the body from pathogenic organisms (those that cause disease). Commonly isolated pathogens include Salmonella enteritidis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
- Antimicrobial Testing: Tests the susceptibility and resistance of bacteria to various antibiotics so that the physician can order an appropriate effective antibiotic based on the bacteria isolated from a specific specimen.
- Mycology: Isolation and identification of fungi and yeast such as Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus.
- Parasitology: Identification of parasites that infect humans including Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and other intestinal parasites.
- Mycobacteriology: Isolation and identification of Mycobacterium sp. including Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
- Virology: Identification of viruses including Herpes, RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), Adenovirus, Varicella, Influenza, Parainfluenza, and CMV (Cytomegalovirus).
- Rapid Testing: These EIA (enzyme immunoassay) tests can be conducted within a short period of time giving physicians and patients rapid results. Some examples are Rotavirus, Influenza A and B, and Rapid Strep.
- Latex Testing: Latex particles allow visual observation of an antigen-antibody reaction. If infectious antibodies are present in serum or plasma, the latex suspension changes its uniform appearance and a clear agglutination becomes evident. Examples include diagnosis of mononucleosis and the presence or absence of anti-streptolysin O (streptococcal infection).
Urinalysis includes a series of screening tests that are capable of detecting a variety of renal, urinary tract, and systemic diseases. An analyzer is used to rapidly detect levels of protein, glucose, bilirubin and other compounds in urine. Technologists examine urine for microscopic elements such as red blood cells, white blood cells and crystals.
Flow Cytometry and Molecular Pathology
Flow Cytometry is a technology that simultaneously measures and analyzes the physical characteristics of single particles, usually cells, as they flow in a fluid through a beam of light. Normal and abnormal cells in these samples are analyzed on the presence or absence of certain molecules on the cell surface or inside the cells. Samples are stained with a carefully developed panel of specific antibodies utilizing different fluorescent dyes.
The Laboratory performs immunophenotyping diagnostic services based on the multiparameter flow cytometric analysis for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and related hematologic disorders. CD4 cell counts and lymphocyte enumeration analysis are performed on patients diagnosed with HIV. Peripheral blood, bone marrow, various body fluids, fine needle aspiration samples and tissue biopsies can also be analyzed utilizing flow cytometric technology.
Molecular Pathology is the study of biology at the molecular level. It chiefly concerns itself with the understanding of the regulation and interaction between the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA and RNA.
The Molecular Pathology Laboratory at Danbury Hospital uses progressive technologies (PCR, RFLP, RT-PCR) and procedures to evaluate infectious diseases, inherited disorders, rapid detection of MRSA by real time PCR and other gene abnormalities.
Whole blood, bone marrow, various body fluids and tissue samples can be analyzed using one of the many available technologies.
We have convenient locations across the community for collection of laboratory samples.
For More Information
If you would like to know more about Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, talk to your doctor about Danbury Hospital. If you need a doctor referral call us at 1-800-516-3658, or search our Find a Doctor online tool to find a doctor near you.