Included below are news items from the last six months.
New guidelines from ACOG recommend that carrier screening for genetic disorders be discussed with all pregnant women as well as those considering pregnancy. Photo source: CDC
A test that measures the level of procalcitonin in the blood has been cleared for expanded use by the FDA. When used in conjunction with other clinical information, the test may help healthcare practitioners avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatment without risking patients' safety. Photo source: NIAID
Recently updated guidelines recommend a newer blood test, called an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA), to detect tuberculosis (TB) infection rather than the traditional TB skin test (TST) in most situations.
CRE superbugs that are resistant to almost all antibiotics appear to be more diverse and harder to identify than health experts had realized, say researchers, and testing for CRE should be expanded beyond current practice. Photo source: NIAID
A new, 'next-generation' test that measures a patient's blood level of cardiac troponin and speeds up the time it takes to diagnose heart attacks was recently cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A recent study suggests that screening for an inherited genetic defect known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) during routine immunization visits in early childhood could identify both children and parents at risk of premature heart disease. Photo source: NIAAA
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends that all adults ages 40 to 75 with no history of heart disease but with at least one risk factor for a heart attack or stroke take a statin drug every day. Photo source: NHLBI
A recent report supports the idea that women over age 40 who screen negative for HPV may not need to be tested for cervical cancer as often as current guidelines recommend.
Photo source: National Cancer Institute
Rates of STDs, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, were at their highest levels ever in 2015, according to a recent report from the CDC. People at risk should be tested and, if necessary, treated to lower the chance of developing serious health conditions and infecting others. Photo source: CDC
A new approach to testing for infections may allow healthcare practitioners to quickly determine whether a patient has a bacterial or viral infection, and to determine the right treatment in a timely way. Photo source: CDC, Lauren Bishop
All patients diagnosed with hepatitis C and starting treatment with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs should be tested for hepatitis B co-infection. When hepatitis C is treated with DAAs, the hepatitis B virus can reactivate and cause severe liver damage. Photo source: CDC, Dr. Erskine Palmer
Non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) is the most sensitive screening option for Down syndrome and should be discussed with all expectant mothers, regardless of age and whether or not they are at increased risk for carrying a baby with a chromosome disorder, according to the ACMG. Photo source: National Human Genome Research Institute