Laboratory Medicine Division
The Laboratory Medicine Division performs diagnostic tests for inpatients and outpatients at medical centers throughout the Delaware Valley and the United States. This Division includes laboratories that perform assays not readily available elsewhere including: tissue typing, laser-activated flow cytometry, molecular diagnosis and complete toxicology services.
The Laboratory Medicine Division has its origins in the William Pepper Laboratory, founded in 1895 as the first clinical laboratory in the United States.
Center for Personalized Diagnostics
The Center for Personalized Diagnostics (CPD), a joint initiative between Penn Medicine's Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center, integrates Molecular Genetics, Pathology Informatics, and Genomic Pathology for individualized patient diagnoses and to elucidate cancer treatment options for physicians. The CAP/CLIA-certified CPD enables precision therapies by offering genome-wide diagnostics to identify the specific tumor characteristics for each patient.
This laboratory measures analytes in serum and other body fluids and performs routine and specific assays of proteins in serum, urine and cerebrospinal fluid, with a special interest in oligoclonal protein banding. The laboratory handles rapid turnaround and stat requests.
Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory offers a variety of services related to the diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases using state-of-the-art procedures. Areas of testing include bacteriology, mycobacteriology, mycology, parasitology, virology and antimicrobial susceptibility. The laboratory also works closely with the Molecular Pathology Laboratory in offering and developing molecular based diagnostic tests for difficult to diagnose infections.
The Coagulation Laboratory performs specialized tests to diagnose platelet disorders and immune-mediated thrombocytopenias, as well as routine assays. Testing for Von Willebrand's disease includes standard assays for factor VIII antigen, factor VIIIC, and ristocetin co-factor, as well as assays to differentiate types I and II. An assay for lupus inhibitor is also available.
The Endocrine Laboratory performs hormonal and other assays using radioimmunoassays (RIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Of special note are the fetal lung reactivity profiles and alpha fetoprotein assays in serum and amniotic fluid for neural tube defect screening and other tumor markers.
The Flow Cytometry Laboratory performs rapid identification and quantification of subsets of cells using laser-activated fluoresecent antibodies to cell surface markers. Using up to eight different markers simultaneously, abnormal populations of cells can be identified with a high level of sensitivity to aid in the diagnosis of leukemias and lymphomas. Other tests offered include quantitation of CD4 T-cells for monitoring of HIV, measurement of hematopoietic stem cells, measurement of maternal-fetal bleed, and evaluation of cellular subsets for immunodeficiency diagnosis.
The Hematology Laboratory performs routine hematologic tests as well as specialized tests for identification and quantification of normal hemoglobins and the diagnosis and classification by cytochemical staining of disorders of leukocytes and lymphoid cells.
A joint program with the Molecular Flow Cytometry and Cytogenetics Laboratories permits evaluation of lymphoid tissue biopsies. Lymphoid lesions, both nodal and extranodal, are studied extensively by means of immuno-peroxidase staining, flow cytometry and cytogenetics.
This laboratory performs complete HLA typing for transplantation, genetic mapping of disease, and the exclusion of paternity; antibody screening and compatibility testing for donor-recipient matching prior to transplantation; and post-surgical monitoring of the immune system.
Specific tests and collaborative services are available for the diagnosis of a variety of autoimmune, connective tissue and neurological diseases. Laser-activated flow cytometry coupled with fluorescent tagged monoclonal antibodies are used for the determination of lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood and lymph nodes which express unique antigenic structures on their surface that are indicators of cell function. This procedure is useful in diagnosis of disorders of immune regulation.
Molecular Pathology Laboratory
The Molecular Pathology Laboratory is a full-service molecular diagnostic laboratory that performs tests for a variety of clinical indications. Applications include diagnosis, prenatal and/or carrier testing of inherited disorders (including spinal muscular atrophy, cystic fibrosis, heredity predisposition to thrombosis (Factor V Leiden and prothrombin mutations), and frontotemporal dementia), diagnosis and monitoring of leukemias, lymphomas, solid tumors, and infectious diseases and for identity testing in certain situations.
This laboratory provides toxicology services to area hospitals and applies mass spectroscopy to enable rapid detection of a broader array of toxic agents and drugs than possible with less advanced technology. It also serves as a reference laboratory in the Delaware Valley for the monitoring of the antiarrhythmic drug amiodarone and the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporine. Infrared spectrophometry permits analysis of renal calculi within 30 minutes. The Laboratory provides an emergency toxicology service 24 hours a day.
University of Pennsylvania Pathology Laboratories