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Clinical immunology

The clinical Immunology diagnostic service aims to provide its users with a comprehensive repertoire of tests for autoimmunity, rheumatic diseases and allergy in- house.

The Immunology laboratory liaises closely with all other Pathology services at Gateshead to offer interpretation of all tests relating to immune function if required. Our service is currently used by Sunderland, South Tyneside and Northumbria Trusts.

We are committed to a service of the highest quality in line with user requirements, to good professional practice and continued compliance with CPA (UK) Ltd accreditation standards. We welcome dialogue with our users regarding tests and future service provision.

What is Clinical Immunology?

Clinical Immunology is a discipline of biomedical science involving the study of diseases caused by disorders of the immune system. The diseases caused by disorders of the immune system fall into two broad groups: immunodeficiency (where the immune system fails to produce an adequate response) and autoimmunity (immune system attacks its host’s body). Other immune system disorders include allergies, in which the immune system responds inappropriately to harmless compounds.

What happens to your sample?

When received into the Pathology department, samples and request forms are checked to ensure that they are suitable for testing. Samples that are incorrectly labelled or unlabelled are normally rejected and the requesting clinician informed. All other samples are then labelled with a unique barcode identifier, booked into the laboratory computer system and then sent to the appropriate department.

The Clinical Immunology department receives 300 – 400 samples per day, with each sample often requiring several tests. Many of these requests are labour intensive and require several hours to perform. Therefore where possible the department uses automation. The main bulk of our automated work is performed on two Phadia250 instruments which can process up to 300 tests per day.

Although relatively small compared to other disciplines Clinical Immunology is growing rapidly as public awareness of clinical immunodeficiency, autoimmunity and allergy related diseases/ disorders increases. Laboratory testing plays an essential role in aiding the diagnosis of immune disease; the majority of diagnoses are heavily supported by results from the immunology laboratory.

Common Immunology tests include:

  • Connective Tissue Disease screen (Anti-Nuclear Antibodies)
  • Autoimmune Hepatitis screen (Liver Autoantibodies)
  • Coeliac disease screen (tTG)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis screen (RF and CCP)
  • Immunologlobulins (G,M,A)
  • Specific IgEs (Allergies)

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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