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A morning symposium on July 31 at the 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo, Clinical Endocrine Assays: What Endocrinologists Will Ask You (32104), will address basic questions and concerns endocrinologists have about selecting and interpreting tests.

Endocrinologists often look to clinical labs to guide them on these issues. “Based on the ongoing popularity and success of the ENDO/AACC symposia at our annual meetings over the last four years, there continues to be strong interest among our attendees in laboratory issues facing the endocrine community,” according to the program description for this session.

An informal clinician survey that took place during the 2016 Endocrine Society annual scientific conference inspired some of the topics for this session. Survey respondents cited specific concerns with several areas:

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3), cited as a concern among adult and pediatric endocrinologists; and proper use of tumor markers in evaluating and following patients with endocrine tumors.

Thyroid cancer is the disease most likely to attack the endocrine system. Carole Spencer, MT, PhD, FACB, professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, plans to address the topic of differentiated thyroid tumor markers in cancer patients. Clinicians often use thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroglobulin (Tg) analytes to evaluate tumors. Thyroglobulin is also used to monitor therapy for thyroid carcinoma. Antithyroglobulin antibodies, however, sometimes interfere with Tg assays.

Martin Bidlingmaier, MD, who heads the endocrine laboratory at Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Klinikum der Universität at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, will discuss IGF-1 assays. “IGF-1 is produced mainly by the liver and in the circulation is bound predominantly to IGFBP-3. Unlike growth hormone (GH) secretion, which is pulsatile and demonstrates significant diurnal variation, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 levels show only minor fluctuations. Concentrations of IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 in the blood provide an assessment of GH production,” according to the program description. The wide variability in values among the IGF-1 methods makes it difficult to interpret results.

Stan Van Uum, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the divisions of Clinical Pharmacology and Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Western Ontario, plans to address another topic of concern for endocrinologists: the measurement of hair cortisol in various clinical situations.

Cortisol is measured in a number of different mediums, including hair, serum/plasma, saliva, and urine. Cortisol quantification is becoming increasingly useful in detecting the effects of stress in chronic pain, acute myocardial infarction and other pathologies. Hair cortisol analysis, in particular, has the ability to measure cortisol over extended periods of time.

Learn more about testing from an endocrinologist’s point of view and earn 1.5 CE hours at this detail-oriented session. The 69th AACC Annual Scientific Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in San Diego begins on July 30 and runs through Aug. 3. It’s just around the corner, register today.