Laboratory medicine performs diagnostic tests for inpatients and outpatients at medical centers throughout the Philadelphia region and United States. The division has its origins in the William Pepper Laboratory, which was founded in 1895 as the first clinical laboratory in the country.
The division includes laboratories that provide services not readily available elsewhere in the region including:
- Complete menu of routine and esoteric tests on blood and other body fluids
- Specialized tests and consultation for the workup of bleeding disorders through the Coagulation Laboratory
- Full service diagnostics in all areas of infectious diseases through the Clinical Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratories
- Extensive test menu and consultation in clinical chemistry including toxicologic and endocrinology
- State-of-the-art Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory to support transplant programs
Performing 10 million diagnostic tests per year, the laboratories at Penn Medicine deliver highest-quality results yet provide a personalized customer service from start to finish. The Core Laboratory includes a high-volume, automated clinical chemistry section with extensive menu of routine and esoteric tests. Included within the section is the Toxicology Laboratory, providing services to UPHS and regional/out of state facilities in the area of therapeutic drug monitoring, primarily by mass spectrometry, with a particular interest in immunosuppressive drugs. The Endocrinology Laboratory performs a variety of tests to support clinical programs in endocrinology and metabolism, neuroendocrine tumors, and maternal-fetal medicine.
Clinical Microbiology Laboratory
Infectious Diseases diagnostics is provided through several laboratories within the division including the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Immunology Laboratory, and Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (Precision and Computational Diagnostics Division), all working together to provide a broad range of tests for diagnosis and management of infectious diseases. The Clinical Microbiology Laboratory offers diagnostic testing and consultative services for infectious diseases caused by bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites. In addition, it performs antimicrobial and antifungal susceptibility testing when indicated to help guide anti-infective therapy. Staffed by three nationally recognized doctoral-level directors, it is arguably the most comprehensive diagnostic microbiology laboratory in the region. Its leaders, specially trained and board certified in Clinical Microbiology and Internal Medicine (Infectious Diseases), provide expert laboratory consultations. Faculty conduct federally and privately funded research programs in their areas of expertise.
The Coagulation Laboratory performs specialized tests for the workup of a variety of bleeding disorders. Three nationally recognized hematologists and lab medicine specialists are available for consultations to determine the right tests to diagnose and manage patients with complex bleeding disorders. The lab 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 qualitative and quantitative disease. Assays for lupus inhibitor, and anticardiolipin, b2 glycoprotein I, and prothrombin are routinely performed. At the forefront of testing for Heparin Antibodies, it currently performs the gold-standard Serotonin Release Assay as well as the ELISA based PF4/Heparin assay. Drug-induced Thrombocytopenia testing and a test for Factor VII Padua can also be arranged.
Immunology and HLA Laboratory
The Immunology Laboratory performs specific tests and provides consultative services for the diagnosis of a variety of autoimmune, connective tissue and neurological diseases. The laboratory also performs a variety of immunologic tests to aid in the diagnosis of infectious diseases including tests for Lyme Disease and latent tuberculosis. The HLA Laboratory provides state of the art histocompatibility and immunogenetics testing to support the extensive transplant programs at Penn. The laboratory has key partnerships and collaborations in the areas of human immunogenetics, and performs HLA typing for the National Marrow Donor Registry. It also participates in the International Histocompatibility Working Group (IHWG) on KIR Genotyping. In the area of Clinical Transplantation Immunology, it is one of very few laboratories nationwide participating in immune mechanistic studies on human islet cell transplantation, sponsored by an NIH Islet Cell Transplant Consortium.
For more information, visit Penn Laboratory Medicine.