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Journal: Clinical chemistry


BACKGROUND: Laboratory tests to assess novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are under evaluation. Routine monitoring is unnecessary, but under special circumstances bioactivity assessment becomes crucial. We analyzed the effects of NOACs on coagulation tests and the availability of specific assays at different laboratories.METHODS: Plasma samples spiked with dabigatran (Dabi; 120 and 300 μg/L) or rivaroxaban (Riva; 60, 146, and 305 μg/L) were sent to 115 and 38 European laboratories, respectively. International normalized ratio (INR) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) were analyzed for all samples; thrombin time (TT) was analyzed specifically for Dabi and calibrated anti-activated factor X (anti-Xa) activity for Riva. We compared the results with patient samples.RESULTS: Results of Dabi samples were reported by 73 laboratories (13 INR and 9 APTT reagents) and Riva samples by 22 laboratories (5 INR and 4 APTT reagents). Both NOACs increased INR values; the increase was modest, albeit larger, for Dabi, with higher CV, especially with Quick (vs Owren) methods. Both NOACs dose-dependently prolonged the APTT. Again, the prolongation and CVs were larger for Dabi. The INR and APTT results varied reagent-dependently (P < 0.005), with less prolongation in patient samples. TT results (Dabi) and calibrated anti-Xa results (Riva) were reported by only 11 and 8 laboratories, respectively.CONCLUSIONS: The screening tests INR and APTT are suboptimal in assessing NOACs, having high reagent dependence and low sensitivity and specificity. They may provide information, if laboratories recognize their limitations. The variation will likely increase and the sensitivity differ in clinical samples. Specific assays measure NOACs accurately; however, few laboratories applied them.

Concepts: Positive predictive value, Type I and type II errors, Sensitivity and specificity, Coagulation, Warfarin, Prothrombin time, Partial thromboplastin time


Nucleic acid tests that can simultaneously detect multiple targets with high sensitivity, specificity, and speed are highly desirable. To meet this need, we developed a new approach we call the isoPCR method.


BACKGROUND: Noninvasive prenatal detection of common fetal aneuploidies with cell-free DNA from maternal plasma has been achieved with high-throughput next-generation sequencing platforms. Turnaround times for previously tested platforms are still unsatisfactory for clinical applications, however, because of the time spent on sequencing. The development of semiconductor sequencing technology has provided a way to shorten overall run times. We studied the feasibility of using semiconductor sequencing technology for the noninvasive detection of fetal aneuploidy.METHODS: Maternal plasma DNA from 13 pregnant women, corresponding to 4 euploid, 6 trisomy 21 (T21), 2 trisomy 18 (T18), and 1 trisomy 13 (T13) pregnancies, were sequenced on the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine sequencer platform with 318 chips. The data were analyzed with the T statistic method after correcting for GC bias, and the T value was calculated as an indicator of fetal aneuploidy.RESULTS: We obtained a mean of 3 524 401 high-quality reads per sample, with an efficiency rate of 77.9%. All of the T21, T13, and T18 fetuses could be clearly distinguished from euploid fetuses, and the time spent on library preparation and sequencing was 24 h.CONCLUSIONS: Semiconductor sequencing represents a suitable technology for the noninvasive prenatal detection of fetal aneuploidy. With this platform, sequencing times can be substantially reduced; however, a further larger-scale study is needed to determine the imprecision of noninvasive fetal aneuploidy detection with this system.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Infant, Embryo, Fetus, Uterus, Fertility, Abortion, Aneuploidy


Acinetobacter baumannii is a common nosocomial pathogen and strain-typing method important in hospital outbreak investigations and epidemiologic surveillance. We describe a method for identifying strain-specific peptide markers based on LC-MS/MS profiling of digested peptides. This method classified a test set of A. baumannii isolates collected from a hospital outbreak with discriminatory performance exceeding that of MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

Concepts: Mass spectrometry, Microbiology, Nosocomial infection, Antibiotic resistance, Pseudomonadales, Acinetobacter baumannii, Acinetobacter, Moraxellaceae


Amniocentesis is a common procedure, the primary purpose of which is to collect cells from the fetus to allow testing for abnormal chromosomes, altered chromosomal copy number, or a small number of genes that have small single- to multibase defects. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of generating an accurate whole-genome sequence of a fetus from either the cellular or cell-free DNA (cfDNA) of an amniotic sample.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Cell nucleus, Cell, Archaea, Bacteria, Chromosome


Point-of-care technology (POCT)2 provides actionable information at the site of care to allow rapid clinical decision-making. With healthcare emphasis shifting toward precision medicine, population health, and chronic disease management, the potential impact of POCT continues to grow, and several prominent POCT trends have emerged or strengthened in the last decade.


Recent publications have explored the possibility of using fingerprints to confirm drug use, but none has yet dealt with environmental contamination from fingertips. Here we explored the possibility of establishing an environmental cutoff for drug testing from a single fingerprint.

Concepts: Drug addiction, Heroin, Psychoactive drug, Drug injection, Methamphetamine, Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, Sherlock Holmes, Fingerprint


Increased medical and legal cannabis intake is accompanied by greater use of cannabis vaporization and more cases of driving under the influence of cannabis. Although simultaneous Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and alcohol use is frequent, potential pharmacokinetic interactions are poorly understood. Here we studied blood and plasma vaporized cannabinoid disposition, with and without simultaneous oral low-dose alcohol.

Concepts: Cannabinoid receptor, Cannabis, Cannabinoid, Cannabidiol, Cannabinoids, Vaporizer, Raphael Mechoulam


A novel coronavirus of zoonotic origin (2019-nCoV) has recently been identified in patients with acute respiratory disease. This virus is genetically similar to SARS coronavirus and bat SARS-like coronaviruses. The outbreak was initially detected in Wuhan, a major city of China, but has subsequently been detected in other provinces of China. Travel-associated cases have also been reported in a few other countries. Outbreaks in health care workers indicate human-to-human transmission. Molecular tests for rapid detection of this virus are urgently needed for early identification of infected patients.


The recent emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a rapid proliferation of serologic assays. However, little is known about their clinical performance. Here, we compared two commercial SARS-CoV-2 IgG assays.