Major Changes to Respiratory PCR Testing

On Thursday, December 21, 2017, several major changes will be made to respiratory PCR testing at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Key points are as follows:


[1] All testing will be performed 24/7 with no daily cutoff for same-day results.
[2] All testing requires a nasopharyngeal swab (Stores #33595). Other sources such as BAL, sputum or bronchial washings are not acceptable and have been removed as sources in Epic ordering.
[3] All testing will be more rapid and will take from 45 minutes to 3 hours upon receipt in the laboratory.


[1] Formerly, influenza-only testing was limited to outpatient providers. This remains the case, with the addition of new RSV testing that can be ordered in two ways:
LAB8653     RSV Panel: covers RSV A and RSV B only.
LAB8655     Influenza A/B/RSV Panel: Covers RSV A, RSV B, Influenza A and B (including H1N1 influenza)

[2] There are several tests that closely correspond to older testing as follows:
LAB8654     Influenza A/B Panel: Covers Influenza A and B (including H1N1 influenza). This is orderable only for outpatients as above.
*LAB8656     Respiratory Pathogen Panel: (all analytes below)
*LAB8657     Respiratory Pathogen Cascading Panel: (testing terminates if positive for influenza, issuing results only for influenza; otherwise issues results for all analytes)
*LAB8658     Respiratory Pathogen Cascading Addon: (forces resulting of all additional analytes for a panel that terminated with a positive influenza result)

*These orders cover the following analytes:
Influenza A (includes H1N1)
Influenza B
Parainfluenza 1, 2, 3 and 4
Respiratory Syncytial Virus A and B
Human Metapneumovirus
Human Rhinovirus/Enterovirus (not distinguished)
Chlamydia pneumoniae
Mycoplasma pneumoniae

Coronavirus, Rhinovirus/Enterovirus, Parainfluenza 4, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Mycoplasma pneumoniae are new analytes on the respiratory PCR panel.

Questions concerning this broadcast can be directed to Bradley Ford, MD, PhD, Medical Director of Microbiology; (ext. 6-2990,