Top 5 Ways an In-House Analyzer Can Change the Way You Practice
Sponsored by Bionote
In-house analyzers quickly and efficiently process blood work, turning around results in minutes—a convenience that is a gamechanger in patient care. Although the standard turnaround time from an outside laboratory may be acceptable for some cases, such a wait can delay lifesaving treatment, hinder workflow efficiency, and cause serious owner dissatisfaction. In addition to the minimum database (eg, CBC, serum chemistry), other point-of-care tests are now easily accessible, providing essential benefits to the patient and practitioner.
Below are 5 ways an in-house analyzer can improve your practice beyond the standard minimum database.
1. Definitive Diagnosis of Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a potentially serious condition in both dogs and cats and often presents with nonspecific clinical signs, making diagnosis a challenge.1,2 Ultrasound evaluation of pancreatitis can be affected by many variables and may not be readily available.1-3 For this reason, an integrated diagnostic approach that considers clinical signs, routine laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging, and serum pancreatic lipase measurements is recommended for diagnosis.1,3
The rapid turnaround time of in-house quantitative canine pancreas-specific lipase and feline pancreas-specific lipase can aid in a timely diagnosis leading to quick treatment.
2. Presurgical Cardiac Screening
Asymptomatic murmurs can pose an anesthetic conundrum, especially when found incidentally on preanesthetic examination. While echocardiography is ideal, it is not feasible in many cases; cardiac biomarker N-terminal fragment pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) is an easily accessible diagnostic option in these situations.4-8
NT-proBNP, a hormone expressed in response to excessive myocardial wall stretch, has been shown to increase with severity of myxomatous mitral valve degeneration, help detect early dilated cardiomyopathy, and help predict impending heart failure in dogs.6-11 In cats, NT-proBNP can help differentiate cats with severe subclinical cardiomyopathy from those with mild or no disease.4,5
NT-proBNP can be run in-house on the Bionote Vcheck V200 to provide fast, affordable results for more informed risk assessment when echocardiography is not possible, allowing anesthesia to proceed same day or be canceled with greater confidence.4-7
3. Addisonian Crisis Diagnosis & Prevention
Hypoadrenocorticism hides in plain sight, often masquerading as GI, hepatic, or renal disease.12-14 Clinical signs are often waxing and waning and nonspecific, and common clinicopathologic changes can mimic other diseases.12-14 Additionally, classic electrolyte changes are not pathognomonic and may be absent.12-14
Basal cortisol is a highly sensitive method of screening for hypoadrenocorticism.12-14 However, sending this test out may leave the dog open to devolving into Addisonian crisis while awaiting results. Affordable in-house testing with the Bionote Vcheck V200 makes screening a practical step for all suspect pets, allowing confirmatory testing, treatments, and/or lifestyle precautions to be initiated right away.
4. Real-Time Monitoring of Hospitalized Patients
C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a positive acute phase protein produced in response to inflammatory cytokines.15,16 Because of its fast rise and clearance with the onset and resolution of inflammation, CRP is a highly sensitive marker of inflammation.15,16 It has been shown to increase with many conditions, including bacterial and viral infections, autoimmune diseases, neoplasia, and surgery.15,16
Along with predicting disease severity and prognosis at diagnosis, CRP is valuable for monitoring disease progression over time.15,16 When hospitalized patients (eg, acute pancreatitis, parvoviral infections, postsurgical) have an unclear response to treatment, serial CRP measurements provide an objective assessment of progress. Real-time results from an in-house analyzer can help guide real-time treatment decisions, something that cannot be achieved with the slower turnaround times of an outside laboratory.15,16
5. Earlier Recognition of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation & Ruling Out Pulmonary Thromboembolism
Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is a hypercoagulable state caused by many underlying conditions (eg, sepsis, heat stroke, trauma).17DIC exists on a continuum, and the subclinical phase can be difficult to identify.17As the final product of fibrin degradation, D-dimers are an essential piece of DIC diagnosis, signaling the presence of clot formation and fibrinolysis.17,18 With the in-house Bionote Vcheck V200, at-risk patients can be monitored daily, allowing for a more rapid response to suspected DIC.
As indicators of clot formation, D-dimers can also aid in the investigation of suspected pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE).18 PTE diagnosis is difficult to confirm, potentially requiring expensive, advanced diagnostics.18 A negative D-dimer test is highly sensitive for the lack of PTE, which can help rule out PTE before pursuing further investigation.18
Immediate, accurate, and accessible in-house tests help inform treatment plans, optimize patient care, and improve workflow. Bionote Vcheck F analyzers provide affordable and user-friendly access to essential point-of-care tests, allowing for faster and more targeted treatment responses.