The 2017 AACC Annual Meeting Organizing Committee accepted 740 abstracts representing innovative scientific work from more than a dozen countries. Although every abstract will not receive distinguished recognition from the AACC Academy or the various AACC Divisions, highlighted here are several interesting studies that you may want to visit during this year’s poster sessions. Posters are located in the upper level of the Sails Pavilion in the San Diego Convention Center.

Analytical Evaluation of Soluble fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 1 (sFlt-1) and Placental Growth Factor (PlGF) on Brahms Kryptor Automated Immunoassay for the Diagnosis of Preeclampsia (Poster B-017) presented by S. Chan et al. Although preeclampsia was described more than 2,000 years ago, the etiology of this hypertensive disorder is not clear. Moreover, the diagnosis of preeclampsia has been modified over time and includes factors such as hypertension, proteinuria, impaired liver function, and low platelet count.

The acute onset of preeclampsia and delayed detection can lead to both maternal and fetal mortality. Chan et al. examined the analytical performance of the Brahms Kryptor automated immunoassay for measurement of two potential preeclampsia biomarkers, sFlt-1 and PlGF. The assay demonstrated acceptable analytical performance needed to further delineate the diagnostic utility of sFlt-1 and PlGF.

Changes in Laboratory Testing Turnaround Times at a Major Academic Medical Center After Converting to a Total Laboratory Automation System for Chemistry and Hematology (Poster B-024) presented by M. R. McGill et al. If you have not already, it’s highly likely that in the near future you will experience implementing total laboratory automation (TLA) in your institution, so why not visit a group of colleagues who just completed this arduous task in 2016? McGill et al. focused specifically on the effect of TLA on test turnaround time (TAT). They reported an initial increase in TAT after the implementation of TLA that was reversed after key collaborative efforts with the manufacturer, including hardware and software adjustments. After these changes, TLA significantly decreased TAT for BMP, CMP, CBC, and cTnI.

Testosterone Content in Hyaluronidase Powder: Evaluation of Commercially-Available Sources for the Pretreatment of Viscous Body Fluid Specimens (Poster A-272) presented by S. L. La’ulu et al. Many clinical laboratories use hyaluronidase to liquefy viscous body fluids. However, you may not have considered the purity of the hyaluronidase preparation. In this study the authors assessed the relative quantity of testosterone in three commercially available hyaluronidase preparations and the potential effects of testosterone contamination on several assays.

Unstable Trends in Metabolites Predict Mortality Within 48 Hours Among Long Term Hospitalized Patients (Poster B-036) presented by A. Momeni Boroujeni et al. Interestingly, the authors retrospectively examined metabolite trends in deceased inpatients (n=110) in their institution over a 2-year period to “evaluate end-of-life laboratory values time trends among deceased long term inpatients.” Using the ARIMA and Mann-Kendall trend test, they identified increases in BUN, AST, and ALP, all indicative of end organ damage in the 48 hours that preceded death.

They also found that Na, Cl, and K vary significantly from normal values. The authors concluded that, “Perhaps early detection of these changes can allow for timely interventions for the patients.”

Comparison of qSOFA (quick SOFA) Score, Presepsin, Procalcitonin and Lactate for Severity Assessment and Mortality Prediction in Patients with Initial Sepsis (Poster B-069) presented by E. Spanuth et al. Sepsis is a global public health problem. In 2016, the Third International Consensus Definitions for Sepsis and Septic Shock introduced a new sepsis definition, Sepsis-3, and a new risk score, the qSOFA score, in order to predict the risk of mortality in patients with suspected infection.

The authors compared the performance of presepsin and procalcitonin with the qSOFA to differentiate sepsis, severe sepsis, or septic shock and the risk of mortality prediction in a cohort of 66 patients. The authors concluded that assessing qSOFA and presepsin together was better than using qSOFA alone.