Women’s Health: Testing for CVD

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Women’s Health: Testing for CVD

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in women? Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, accounts for 27% of all female deaths. That’s much higher than what is commonly thought to be the biggest killer of women – breast cancer. At Randox, we’re using our innovative technology to diagnose CVD cases as early as possible so appropriate treatment can be sought.

The Randox clinical product range offers a wide range of products to combat heart issues including the RX series extensive cardiac testing panel, reagents such as H-FABP, Adiponectin an TxB Cardio and an extensive cardiac QC range available in both liquid & lyophilised format.

You can find out more about how Randox is helping to diagnose women’s health issues, such as CVD, here.

What is CVD?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general terms for conditions that affect the heart and/or blood vessels. It is usually associated with the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and an increased risk of blood clots.

CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK but can often largely be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.

Types of CVD

Coronary heart disease

This occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced

Stroke

A stroke is where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, which can cause brain damage and possibly death. A transient ischaemic attack (also called a TIA or “mini-stroke”) is similar, but the blood flow to the brain is only temporarily disrupted.

Causes of CVD

The exact cause of CVD isn’t clear, but there are lots risk factors that can increase your risk of getting it. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing CVD. Risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Inactivity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of CVD
  • Ethnic background

Preventing CVD

  • Stop smoking
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Cut down alcohol consumption

How is Randox helping to detect CVD?

Randox has developed the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers for superior semi-automated and fully automated testing. The RX series extensive dedicated test menu goes beyond routine testing and has many unique and high-performance tests available. Our range of tests covers many tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac diseases.

Cardiac Panel

CholesterolCRP Full Range(0.3-160mg/l)Direct LDL CholesterolsLDL
CK-MBCRP High SensitivityHeart-Type Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP)Triglycerides
CK-NACDigoxinLipoprotein(a)TxB Cardio
CRPDirect HDL CholesterolMyoglobinAdiponectin

 

Our world leading test menu of high quality reagents guarantees excellence in patient care ensuring unrivalled precision and accuracy reducing costly test re-runs or misdiagnosis and offering complete confidence in results.

The RX series clinical chemistry analysers provide laboratories with a robust and smart solution ensuring you maintain a consistent workflow and can provide accurate results first time, every time. Offering excellent customer support services, our trained engineers are on hand to work with you in preserving the continuity of your operations while maximising the potential of your RX series instrument.

For more information visit: https://www.randox.com/clinical-chemistry-analysers/

Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in women? Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, accounts for 27% of all female deaths. That’s much higher than what is commonly thought to be the biggest killer of women – breast cancer. At Randox, we’re using our innovative technology to diagnose CVD cases as early as possible so appropriate treatment can be sought.

The Randox clinical product range offers a wide range of products to combat heart issues including the RX series extensive cardiac testing panel, reagents such as H-FABP, Adiponectin an TxB Cardio and an extensive cardiac QC range available in both liquid & lyophilised format.

You can find out more about how Randox is helping to diagnose women’s health issues, such as CVD, here.

What is CVD?

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general terms for conditions that affect the heart and/or blood vessels. It is usually associated with the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries and an increased risk of blood clots.

CVD is one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK but can often largely be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.

Types of CVD

Coronary heart disease

This occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked or reduced

Stroke

A stroke is where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off, which can cause brain damage and possibly death. A transient ischaemic attack (also called a TIA or “mini-stroke”) is similar, but the blood flow to the brain is only temporarily disrupted.

Causes of CVD

The exact cause of CVD isn’t clear, but there are lots risk factors that can increase your risk of getting it. The more risk factors you have, the greater your chances of developing CVD. Risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Inactivity
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of CVD
  • Ethnic background

Preventing CVD

  • Stop smoking
  • Have a balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Cut down alcohol consumption

How is Randox helping to detect CVD?

Randox has developed the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers for superior semi-automated and fully automated testing. The RX series extensive dedicated test menu goes beyond routine testing and has many unique and high-performance tests available. Our range of tests covers many tests for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac diseases.

Cardiac Panel

CholesterolCRP Full Range(0.3-160mg/l)Direct LDL CholesterolsLDL
CK-MBCRP High SensitivityHeart-Type Fatty Acid Binding Protein (H-FABP)Triglycerides
CK-NACDigoxinLipoprotein(a)TxB Cardio
CRPDirect HDL CholesterolMyoglobinAdiponectin

 

Our world leading test menu of high quality reagents guarantees excellence in patient care ensuring unrivalled precision and accuracy reducing costly test re-runs or misdiagnosis and offering complete confidence in results.

The RX series clinical chemistry analysers provide laboratories with a robust and smart solution ensuring you maintain a consistent workflow and can provide accurate results first time, every time. Offering excellent customer support services, our trained engineers are on hand to work with you in preserving the continuity of your operations while maximising the potential of your RX series instrument.

For more information visit: https://www.randox.com/clinical-chemistry-analysers/

 

 

 


RCLS – Tackling the Increase of Gonorrhoea and Syphilis

A report published by Public Health England (PHE) reveals that there was 7,137 diagnoses of syphilis reported in 2017, a 20% increase compared to 2016 and 44,676 diagnoses of gonorrhoea reported in 2017, a 22% increase compared to 2016.1

Overall, there were 422,147 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England during 2017.

To help with the increase of STI testing, Randox Clinical Laboratory Services offer a multiplex Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) test kit allowing your clinic, laboratory or GP practice to outsource sample STI testing.

Our STI array is the broadest IVD multiplex array on the market simultaneously detecting 10 infections due to our patented and intelligent Biochip Array Technology which utilises multiplex testing methodology in a rapid and accurate format. These 10 bacterial, viral and protozoan infections consist of:

·        Chlamydia·        Trichomonas Vaginalis
·        Gonorrhoea·        Mycoplasma Hominis
·        Syphilis·        Mycoplasma Genitalium
·        Herpes Simplex 1·        Ureaplasma Urealyticum
·        Herpes Simplex 2·        Chancroid

 

The type of sample which should be sent to our Randox Clinical Laboratory Service lab is determined by the visibility of the patient’s symptoms.

Non-visible symptoms – urine sample required

Visible symptoms – swab sample required

The process of sending samples to RCLS is simple and easy to follow. Our project management teams incorporate a wealth of knowledge and are available accordingly, providing support and guidance. This enables support to be available from your initial enquiry through to the shipment of the samples. As a result we are always delivering to your project aims and timelines.

RCLS currently has four state of the art, fully functional ISO12025 accredited laboratories across the UK. They are situated in Liverpool, London and two in Northern Ireland, Hollywood and Randox Science Park in Antrim.

Overall, by utilising Randox Clinical Laboratory Services you can save your laboratory time and money. Due to our multiplex panels we offer a cost effective, labour saving and time reducing solutions for your STI testing. Providing your laboratory with the best solution to outsource your samples.

Contact us at info@rcls.com to find out more information about RCLS and our STI testing service.

Sources
1 – Public Health England

 

 

 


June focus: Women’s Health

Randox is dedicated to improving health worldwide. Throughout the month of June we hope to highlight how the Randox clinical product range can ensure accurate and swift diagnosis and, by doing so, improve women’s health. We can do this by allowing for necessary steps to be taken post-diagnosis. A common-held misconception is that breast cancer is the biggest threat to a woman’s health, however, the biggest health risk to women statistically is heart disease which accounts for roughly 27% of female deaths. The Randox clinical product range offers a wide range of products to combat heart issues including the RX series extensive cardiac testing panel, reagents such as H-FABP, Adiponectin an TxB Cardio and an extensive cardiac QC range available in both liquid & lyophilised format.

Randox Reagents

Randox Reagents have the highest quality reagents on the market and a test menu comprising of over 118 assays covering over 100 disease markers. Several of these reagents will play a key role in diagnosis in women such as Randox’s Lipoprotein (a) – Lp(a) test,   The Randox Lp(a) offers swift and accurate diagnosis of elevated circulation Lp(a) levels which is significant for women as they have an increased risk of CVD due to elevated levels of Lp(a).  Several traditional CVD risk markers, including elevated LDL may be absent in some women, elevated Lp(a) levels may identify women at high risk of developing CVD.

RX Series

The RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers offers the most comprehensive testing profile for assessing health in males and females. Urinary tract infections are more commonly found in women and the RX series extensive renal function panel will provide clarity  in terms of a woman’s urological health by testing for 19 separate analytes, including microalbumin. The RX series microalbumin test can detect very low levels of albumin in urine and if albumin is detected it can be an indicator of kidney injury and can result in irreversible damage. To view the full RX series test menu click here.

Quality Control

The Randox Acusera Maternal Screening quality control is the only commercially available control which covers all six analytes used during first and second trimester screening of Down’s syndrome and Spina Bifida. Instrument-specific target values and ranges are provided for AFP, Inhibin A, PAPP-A, β hCG, Total hCG and Unconjugated Estriol. The inclusion of PAPP-A and Inhibin A eliminates the need to purchase additional controls at extra expense.

RIQAS

The RIQAS Maternal Screening EQA programme is designed to monitor the performance of screening tests used during the first and second trimester of pregnancy to assess the risk of Down’s syndrome, Spina Bifida and Trisomy 18. 100% human serum ensures commutability while the lyophilised material allows for enhanced stability. Monthly reporting allows laboratories to become aware of issues and remedy them early.

Get in touch with our clinical divisions here.

 

 

 


Take the #TrueAgeChallenge and win a FitBit on each day of the Balmoral Show with Randox Health

Who is the 2018 Balmoral Show’s healthiest person? That’s a question Randox Health is posing at this year’s event, as it announces details of an interactive challenge ahead of this week’s event.

Anyone over the age of 16 can take part by visiting the Randox Health stand and taking part in the True Age Challenge. It involves a Body Composition Analysis (BCA) machine which assesses 25 different areas of your body including the ratio of muscle to fat, bone density, hidden visceral fat and cellular hydration levels.

But it’s the reveal of a person’s ‘true’ or metabolic age that can really leave people amazed!

The #TrueAgeChallenge winner will receive a FitBit Blaze each day of the Balmoral Show. They will either be the single person with the greatest difference between their body age and ‘true’ age as determined by the BCA, or if there are multiple people with the same age difference, they will be entered into a draw.

Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox, commented:

“The True Age Challenge is a novel way to highlight the importance of finding out the current state of your own personal health. For many people, talking intimately about our health can be taboo so we’re working to start that crucial conversation that sparks a desire within people to take control of their health. Our ambition is to help people extend their lives, and live healthier for longer.”

Local well-known names, Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster President James Speers and Downtown Radio presenter Kirstie McMurray are looking forward to taking part.

James Speers, President of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, said of the challenge:

“It’s shaping up to be another great year at Balmoral and the Randox Health True Age Challenge is a fantastic way for people to get a quick overview of their health while at the show. I’m looking forward to partaking in the challenge – hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised!”

Downtown Radio and Downtown Country presenter, Kirstie McMurray, commented:

“When I heard about the Randox Health True Age Challenge I was keen to have a go! I’ve been going to a gym regularly for a year now and I’m interested to see the difference that has made to my health. Fingers-crossed I’m a few years ‘younger’ than my real age!”

Randox Health will be on stand A7 throughout Balmoral Show 2018.

Follow Randox Health’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find out about our #TrueAgeChallenge and daily winners.

For more information about the #TrueAgeChallenge, please contact Randox PR on 028 9442 2413 or email RandoxPR@randox.com

 

 

 


Determining your True Body Age with Randox Health

How much do you know about metabolic syndrome?

It is often mistaken for diabetes, but the truth is, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions – including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol. When these occur together, your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes is increased.

Determining whether or not a patient has metabolic syndrome is a complex process, with basic measurements including height and weight, as well as tests for insulin, leptin (a hunger-suppressing hormone) and adiponectin (a hormone inversely related to dangerous internal fat) factoring in to a comprehensive scientific investigation.

The first step in this investigation is often a test for Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the rate at which the body consumes calories for basic bodily processes – eg. maintaining internal temperature, repairing cells, pumping blood and powering muscles.

With the results of your Basal Metabolic Rate at hand, the scientific team at Randox Health can then present you with your Metabolic Age, or True Body Age as it is often known, by comparing your best Basal Metabolic Rate to other age groups.

The result is relative to gender, age, height and weight and other lifestyle factors. Increased BMR can be the result of frequent physical exercise, stress, illness, diabetes or hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland), whereas decreased BMR can be associated with old age, loss of lean body mass or hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland). Certain drugs, for example antidepressants, and menopause, can also affect BMR.

If the age indicated is lower than your actual age, then congratulations! With your healthy living habits, you have managed to shave years off your age. If the result is higher than your actual age, then you may need to increase your exercise levels or review your diet to improve your results.

And therein lies the good news. With changes to diet and exercise, you can prevent or even reverse metabolic syndrome.

And that’s why it’s so important to find out the status of your health at the earliest possible stage – so that you can make the necessary changes to your lifestyle before you develop a more serious condition.

At Randox Health events across the country, including this year’s Randox Health Grand National, our team of scientists are offering free ‘True Body Age’ results on their Body Composition Analysis machine, which assesses 25 different areas of your body. It takes measurements including ratio of muscle to fat, bone density, hidden visceral fat and cellular hydration levels.

In its measurement of Basal Metabolic Rate the BCA machine will give challengers their True Body Age, which can be a great way to kickstart your health improvement journey.

It is however, only the first step in obtaining a comprehensive understanding of your current health, and determining the conditions of which you are personally at risk of developing in the future.

Randox Health goes beyond standard testing – offering the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health check. Following your initial Body Composition Analysis and True Body Age reading, our scientific experts will then analyse up to 350 different results from a blood sample you provide. Armed with the knowledge of your results, you can truly take control of your health and make a change to improve your future wellbeing.

Phone the Randox Health team today to make a booking: 0800 2545 130

Or join us at the Randox Health Grand National for a FREE Body Composition Analysis which will tell you your True Body Age.

 

 

 


Take control of your heart health with Randox

Your heart is amazing. Not only is it your most critical organ but also one of the most hard-working. The average adult heart beats around 100,000 times a day, acting as a giant pump for all the blood in your body. Indeed, every day your heart pumps over nine litres of blood through a system of blood vessels over 60,000 miles long – it’s little wonder, then, the importance placed on looking after such a vital muscle.

The heart works 24/7, only taking a rest when you sleep with the natural drop of heart rate and blood pressure. Over time, and influenced by lifestyle choices, the heart grows weaker, needing to work harder to fulfil its function. Crucial lifestyle changes now could limit your risk of developing serious cardiac conditions, such as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in the future. Factors which can contribute to your CVD risk include genes inherited from parents or grandparents, smoking, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol consumption and low physical activity levels.

You can’t change your DNA, but you can find out what it means to you and your family. One of our advanced tests can identify people living with a common but often hidden disorder – Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH). Fewer than 12% of people in the UK know they have this potentially fatal condition. It is characterised by dangerously high levels of cholesterol which can lead to early onset cardiovascular disease.

While lifestyle changes may help to limit your risk of CVD, and related heart condition, it is impossible to eradicate it completely for everyone. Accounting for 31% of deaths worldwide, CVD is the number one cause of death globally but early screening could lower this figure significantly.   That’s why it’s vitally important to detect CVD early before a coronary event like a heart attack occurs.

Today in the UK, 530 people will go to the hospital with a suspected heart attack. Only a fifth of these people will actually be having a heart attack. According to a team from King’s College London, as reported by the BBC, a faster, more accurate diagnosis of whether chest pain is caused by a heart attack would save the health service millions of pounds each year by sending well patients home and freeing up beds. Yet current testing methods do not efficiently differentiate between high-risk patients and the estimated 80% of patients who are not having a heart attack.

Randox’s revolutionary test for Heart-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Protein (H-FABP), when combined with current testing, is able to rule out a heart attack for patients who present at A&E with chest pain which is caused by other conditions such as respiratory issues, meaning they may not need emergency admission.

When measured at the time a patient presents to A&E with chest pain, H-FABP enables doctors to triage patients suffering with a heart attack more efficiently than before, making sure those at high-risk are given medical intervention earlier.

Early screening in the form of a comprehensive health check is essential to detect cardiac irregularities before they become serious problems. Heart damage builds up over time, meaning that when detected early enough, lifestyle changes can help to reduce cardiac risk and potentially even prevent a cardiac event occurring.

Therefore, it is vitally important that individuals are tested for CVD to detect them in the earliest stages to reduce damage, prevent further damage, or even death.  Furthermore, many people suffer from inherited cardiac risk factors, which stresses the need for accurate testing.

Randox offer the complete laboratory solution to cardiac risk assessment information to doctors and hospitals, and also directly to the public at Randox Health. Our range of both traditional and novel cardiac risk biomarkers, along with our technologically-advanced range of analysers, serves to allow us to offer the most advanced, most accurate health check available on the planet.

As well as your cardiovascular risk score, a Randox Health check will also assess your cholesterol levels, FH risk, triglycerides, creative kinase, myoglobin, troponin levels and many more heart health indicators. In total, a Randox Health check can assess up to 350 different markers of irregularity or disease in the whole body, from heart to hormone health and skin to stomach.

Many serious future health issues are preventable now with action. Find out more about our health check programmes here.

 

About Randox Health

Randox Health is a global leader in healthcare diagnostics; today more than 5% of the world’s population – in excess of 370 million people across 145 countries – receives medical diagnosis using Randox products each year.

 

After investing over £220 million in the invention and production of revolutionary blood-science technology, a single Randox Health check will deliver a complete picture of your health – as it is now and, crucially, how it is likely to develop in the future.

Randox Health has proven that signs of disease or irregularity can be caught at their earliest stage. This means that, with early action, some cases of illness can even be prevented altogether. Our health checks include, but are not limited to, cancer surveillance, fertility monitoring, heart health, nutrition, digestive and diabetes health.

In other words, from one health check, you’ll receive up to 350 results and afterwards avail of expert advice from the Randox scientists or a Randox Health GP. Not only that, but a complete 12-month programme and repeat testing come as standard so you can have full confidence that you are really taking care of yourself.

 

Find out more information about Randox Health checks here: https://www.randoxhealth.com/our-packages/

 

RX Series

Randox has developed the RX series range of clinical chemistry analysers for high-quality semi-automated and fully automated testing. Choose between the RX misano, RX monaco, RX daytona+, RX imola, and the RX modena depending on the throughput of your laboratory. The RX series offers a suitable analyser for your laboratory’s needs.  For more information on the Randox RX series, please click here or email therxseries@randox.com

 

Reagents

Randox offers an extensive range of third party diagnostic reagents which are internationally recognised as being of the highest quality; producing accurate and precise results. We have the largest test menu of 118 assays, covering over 100 disease markers including specific proteins, lipids, therapeutic drug monitoring, drugs of abuse, antioxidants, coagulation, diabetes and veterinary testing. A wide range of formats and methods are available providing greater flexibility and choice for any laboratory size. In addition to flexible pack sizes and a comprehensive list of analyser applications, we can also provide dedicated reagent packs (Randox Easy Read and Easy Fit regents) for a wide range of chemistry analysers providing you with freedom of choice from an independent manufacturer.

For more information on Randox Reagents, please click here or email reagents@randox.com

 

Acusera – Internal Quality Control

The Acusera cardiac controls have been designed to cover a wide range of cardiac markers at clinical decision levels, eliminating the extra expense of an additional low level control.  The controls are available in a both liquid ready-to-use and lyophilized formats making them ideal for all situations and manufactured from 100% human serum a matrix similar to that of the patient is guaranteed.  For more information on the Randox Acusera internal quality control, please click here or email acusera@randox.com

 

RIQAS – External Quality Control

The RIQAS Liquid Cardiac EQA programme is designed to monitor the performance of up to 9clinically significant cardiac markers including: CK-MB mass, D-dimer, Digoxin, homocysteine, hsCRP, myoglobin, NT proBNP, troponin I, and troponin T.  RIQAS is ISO/IEC 17043 accredited and allows the registration of up to five instruments at no extra cost.  All samples are 100% human serum and provided in a liquid ready-to-use format for enhanced convenience.  Submit your results bi-weekly and view reports online via RIQAS.Net.  For more information on RIQAS, the world’s largest international EQA scheme, please click here or email acusera@randox.com

 

For further information, please contact the Randox PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


Simple health checks, sophisticated science at Randox Health

What is health care? When we think of caring for our health, we think of going to the doctor when we feel ill. The healthcare cycle we’re accustomed to is one where we wait for symptoms to present themselves and then we visit a doctor, hoping to be prescribed medication to limit our symptoms.

Is this really health care? Are we really caring for our bodies in the best way possible by waiting for illness to manifest itself? What if we could properly look after our bodies by taking action early to stop illness in its tracks?

The key to this is identifying indicators of pre-illness, and the technology that allows you to do this is now available directly to you through Randox Health.

After investing over £220 million in the invention and production of revolutionary blood-science technology, a single Randox Health check will deliver a complete picture of your health – as it is now and crucially how it is likely to develop in the future.

Randox Health has proven that signs of disease or irregularity can be caught at their earliest stage. This means that, with early action, some cases of illness can even be prevented altogether. Our health checks include, but are not limited to, cancer surveillance, fertility monitoring, heart health, nutrition, digestive and diabetes health.

In other words, from one health check, you’ll receive up to 350 results and afterwards avail of expert advice from the Randox scientists or a Randox Health GP. Not only that, but a complete 12-month programme and repeat testing come as standard so you can have full confidence that you are really taking care of yourself.

Look out for our new ‘Health Made Simple’ blogs beginning next week, where we’ll be delving in to the sophisticated science and diagnostic tests that power each Randox Health check.

You’ll find out about our Everyman, Everywoman and our Signature health checks, as well as our Specialised testing options which focus on specific health issues.

Find out more and start your Randox Health journey today.

For further information, please contact the Randox PR team via email: randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413


Reconstituting Lyophilised Controls

What is Lyophilisation?

Lyophilisation or ‘freeze drying’ is the process by which water is removed from a product after it is frozen and placed under a vacuum, allowing the ice to change directly from solid to vapor without passing through a liquid phase. The process consists of three separate processes:

  1. Freezing
  2. Primary Drying (Sublimation)
  3. Secondary Drying (Desorption)

There are many benefits to using a lyophilised control including; improved product shelf-life and enhanced stability of volatile analytes. For example, many lyophilised controls have a shelf life of up to four years from the date of manufacture resulting in a reduction of costly new lot validation studies. Furthermore, lyophilised controls can be aliquoted and refrozen to extend the working stability of the product.

Reconstituting Lyophilised QC Material

The process of reconstitution involves adding a specified volume of distilled water to lyophilised QC material. The water should completely dissolve the lyophilised contents, giving a liquid solution, which is ready for analysis.

Reconstitution is a straightforward process, but requires a high level of precision. Small errors can have serious implications to the reconstituted material:

  • If too much water is pipetted during reconstitution, the material will be heavily diluted and results will be lower than expected
  • If too little water is pipetted during reconstitution, the material will not be sufficiently diluted, and results will be higher than expected
  • If the correct volume of water is pipetted, but a small amount of water gets stuck in the pipette tip due to poor pipetting technique, results will be higher than expected

If a lyophilised control has been reconstituted incorrectly the contents of the vial will be wasted. It is therefore vitally important that controls are reconstituted with care.

Materials and Methods Required

The list of requirements for an accurate and consistent reconstitution technique is not extensive, but each requirement is vital. Labs should have:

  • Calibrated volumetric pipettes
  • Sterile, appropriately sized pipette tips
  • Distilled water, or other reconstitution fluid as specified
  • Technician with good pipetting technique
  • Lyophilised QC stored according to manufacturer’s specifications

How to Reconstitute Lyophilised QC Material

Each different lyophilised control may require slightly different preparation, always refer to the instructions for use before reconstituting control material. The below guide provides a general overview of the reconstitution process, using the Randox Human Assayed Chemistry Premium Plus control (HN1530) as an example

  1. Place the vial of lyophilised QC on a flat surface, carefully remove the lid and the rubber stopper making sure not to spill any material
  2. Using a calibrated pipette and sterilised pipette tip, add exactly 5ml of distilled water directly into the QC vial, ensuring no water is left in the pipette tip, or on the rim/side of the vial
  3. Place the rubber stopper and lid firmly back onto the QC vial, and leave to stand for 30 minutes
  4. After 30 minutes, gently invert the QC vial 10-15 times to ensure the contents is completely dissolved, making sure to avoid the formation of foam. It is important that you DO NOT SHAKE the vial. Alternatively place the vial on a roller for 30 minutes to ensure the contents is thoroughly mixed
  5. Once satisfied all material has been completely dissolved, proceed to use the QC product in accordance with the ‘Control’ section of the individual analyser application
  6. Once finished, refrigerate any unused material. It is good practice to label the vial with the date of reconstitution to prevent the use of material outside of the recommended stability period
  7. Prior to reusing lyophilised material, mix the contents thoroughly by gentle inversion, as highlighted in Step 4

Additional Considerations

It is important to remember that there may be slightly different reconstitution requirements for different QC material. For this reason, it is vital that the instructions provided on the QC Kit Inserts are closely followed.

Reconstituting lyophilised QC can be time-consuming. Therefore, Randox Acusera offer convenient 5ml distilled water serum diluent to assist laboratories with reconstitution of lyophilised controls. These user-friendly pour over vials streamline the reconstitution process and eliminate the risk of pipetting errors.

If you have any further questions regarding lyophilised controls or would like to contact us, please do so by emailing us at acusera@randox.com or use the contact us button provided.


Liver health: do you know your limits?

Are you taking part in Dry January? Giving up alcohol can do your insides a lot of good, and it’s great news for your liver in particular. It may be that after the festive period our liver needs a little bit of rest!

Did you know that alcohol consumption across the UK increases by a staggering 41 percent more than the annual monthly average in December? That’s more than anywhere else in the world.

The effects of alcohol on your health really depend on how much you drink and how often, but as the statistics show, more of us increase our uptake of alcohol over the festive period.

So how does this impact our body?

The results of over indulging vary from a hangover, a poor night’s sleep, to causing an irregular heartbeat, and in some cases, excessive alcohol intake can lead to liver damage. This can be a very serious condition, given the liver’s vital role in the body.

The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes. In fat metabolism, it breaks down fats and produces energy. When we intake alcohol or drugs, the liver metabolizes the drug and detoxifies chemicals.  And it also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.

Following these processes, the liver also secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines and helps the digestion of fats and oils, otherwise known as lipids.

As Randox Health Expert Dr. Gary Smyth explains:

“The liver is one of the most complex organs in the body and also one of the most important. Although it is very resilient, each time it has to filter alcohol some of its cells die.  The liver can develop new cells, but abuse over a prolonged period reduces its ability to regenerate, causing serious damage.”

It is not just heavy drinking over years that can cause liver disease – binge drinking is also a culprit and can lead to your liver becoming fatty and inflamed. The best advice is to drink in moderation. Simple tips like taking a glass of water in-between alcoholic drinks are key to staying hydrated.

Know your units;

  • According to drinkaware.co.uk, unit guidelines are now the same for men and women.
  • Both are advised not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week
  • This equates to 6 pints of 4% beer / 6 glasses of 13% wine / 14 glasses (25ml) of 40% spirits
  • But don’t save up your 14 units, it’s best to spread evenly across the week.
  • If you want to cut down the amount you’re drinking, a good way is to have several drink-free days each week.
  • If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

What does one unit of alcohol look like?

One unit of alcohol is the amount of alcohol an average adult can process within one hour so that so that there’s no alcohol left in their bloodstream.

One unit of alcohol equates to:

  • 218ml of standard 4.5% cider
  • 76ml of standard 13% wine
  • 25ml of standard 40% whiskey
  • 250ml of standard 4% beer
  • 250ml of a standard 4% alcopop

How many units are in my drink?

  • Small glass white / rosé / red wine (125ml 12%) = 1.5 units
  • Standard glass white / rosé / red wine (175 ml 12%) = 2.1 units
  • Large glass white / red / rosé wine (250ml 12%) = 3 units
  • Pint of lager / beer / cider (5.2%) = 3 units
  • Bottle of lager / beer / cider (330ml 5%) = 1.7 units
  • Single small shot of spirits (25ml 40%) = 1 unit*

*taken from NHS Live Well Guidelines

Having your liver health checked after Christmas is a great way of tracking any changes that you may need to make to your lifestyle, for better or for worse – essential for helping you prevent liver disease and allowing you to take early action if it is diagnosed.

At Randox we offer a comprehensive menu of liver function tests to determine the health of your liver.  Provided by Randox to a wealth of hospitals, laboratories and research facilities across the globe, these tests are also directly available to you, the consumer, via our Randox Health clinics.

They include:

  • Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) – an enzyme mainly found in the liver. Liver injury or disease will release ALT into the bloodstream, thus elevating serum ALT levels.  Moderately high or mildly elevated ALT levels can be associated with chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver.

 

  • Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) – an enzyme found predominantly in the heart, liver and skeletal muscles. Cell injury or disease will release AST into the bloodstream, thus elevating blood AST levels. Increased AST levels may be associated with hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), or drug-induced liver injury.

 

  • Gamma-Glutamyltransferase (GGT) – an enzyme found mainly in the liver. Increased levels of GGT in the blood may indicate bile duct injury, hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), liver necrosis (death of liver tissue), liver tumours or the use of drugs that are toxic to the liver.  A high GGT level is frequently associated with increased alcohol consumption, as this liver enzyme is involved in the breakdown and removal of alcohol from the body.

 

  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase (GLDH) – an enzyme located within the mitochondria (energy-producing machinery) of cells, particularly within liver tissue. Significant liver cell damage may cause release of GLDH into the bloodstream.  Toxic liver damage, liver cell necrosis (cell death) or hypoxic liver disease (where liver cells are deprived of oxygen) may cause an increase in GLDH. Measurement of GLDH in combination with other liver markers may help distinguish between different causes of liver dysfunction.

 

  • Bilirubin – a yellowish-brown pigment found in bile (a fluid produced in the liver that facilitates digestion in the intestine). Increased levels may be associated with liver or bile duct blockage (eg due to gallstones), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), trauma to the liver, a drug reaction, long-term alcohol abuse or rare inherited disorders (eg Dubin-Johnson syndrome which is characterised by mild jaundice).

 

  • Albumin – produced by the liver, albumin is the most abundant protein in the blood. Albumin plays in important role in maintaining blood pressure and transporting a wide variety of small molecules, such as hormones, vitamins and drugs, throughout the body. Various conditions are associated with decreased albumin levels, including kidney and liver diseases.

 

  • Copper – an essential mineral that plays a part in many enzyme systems within the body. Excess or deficiency of copper is very rare, however raised copper levels may be caused by chronic liver disease or acute hepatitis (inflammation of the liver).

And when used in conjunction with the wide variety of other tests available within the world’s most comprehensive and personalised health testing menu, you can obtain an understanding of your full body health like never before.

That’s why we don’t test in isolation, which can give a patchy representation of your health and can fail to pick up on related symptoms elsewhere in the body. We test up to 350 tests across 25 areas of your health – giving you the power to take your health into your own hands.

Contact the Randox Health team today to determine the health of your liver, and of your body.

Call 0800 2545 130 or click here.

 

 


Protecting Pets from the Threat of Mycotoxins

Pet Food companies worldwide are working towards constantly improving and maximising the quality of their product. The problematic topic of mycotoxin contamination in pet feed is quickly becoming a major cause for concern. This is due to the risk they pose for animal health and with the  increasing prevalence of mycotoxins globally the focus is on pet food companies to meet EU and FDA regulations and maximise the quality of their product.

What are Mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring metabolites that are produced by certain moulds and with the ability to develop and grow on a variety of crops they can affect large amounts of feed and increasingly, pet food. If a sample tests positive even for low levels of contamination the toxins are still strong enough to cause illness in animals, and if low levels are consumed over a long period of time this can result in chronic illnesses including; cancer, organ damage and neurological disorders.

The main mycotoxins of concern in pet food are;

  • Deoxynivalenol (DON)
  • Fumonisins (FUM)
  • Zearalenone (ZEN)
  • Aflatoxins
  • Ochratoxin
  • T-2 Toxin

Contamination can occur in any country around the world and at any stage of production. Herein lies the issue of how to prevent mycotoxin pollution, to tackle the issue head on and work towards a mycotoxin free product is the joint responsibility of feed producers, supply chain partners and quality control laboratories ensuring the complete safety of the product.

How can you tell if an animal has ingested pet food contaminated with mycotoxins?

In terms of animal health, mycotoxins can cause a variety of problems. Severity and symptoms can vary from animal to animal but general symptoms include; hyperactivity, vomiting, high temperature and loss of coordination. If you suspect your pet has been affected by mycotoxins you must bring them to the vet for immediate treatment.

The European Union currently regulate all the mycotoxins listed above and are subject to maximum or recommended residue limits. In the US, FDA regulations are limited to aflatoxins, DON and fumonisins, see table below for FDA regulations. If mycotoxin levels in feed fail to meet FDA standards, mass amounts of feed may need to be destroyed as grain producers are prohibited from mixing contaminated feed with clean feed to reduce the mycotoxin levels.

PetsMycotoxinCommodityLevel
Immature AnimalsAflatoxinsCorn/ peanut/ other ingredients20 ppb
Adult PetsAflatoxinsCorn/ peanut/ cottonseed meal/ other ingredients20 ppb
DONGrain/ grain byproducts, not to exceed 40% of diet5 ppm
FumonisinsCorn/ corn byproducts, not to exceed 50% of the diet10 ppm

How do we tackle the problem?

Safe, reliable screening solutions for different variations of mycotoxins are available that can ensure only mycotoxin free feed is produced. Randox Food Diagnostics have created mycotoxin screening platforms as a response to increased levels of mycotoxins being found in feed globally.

The platforms use patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT) so pet food producers can test for multiple toxins from a single sample. Randox Food Diagnostics have a range of mycotoxin Biochip Arrays available with customised arrays available to suit the specific screening needs of certain producers. Each Biochip format uses a straightforward extraction process with a 50µl sample of feed, available tests include; Fumonisins, Ochratoxin A, Aflatoxin G1/G2, Aflatoxin B1, Paxiline, Ergot Alkaloids, Diacetoxyscirpenol, Deoxynivalenol, T2 Toxin and Zearalenone.

For more information on mycotoxin screening with Randox Food Diagnostics contact info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com

 

 

 


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