Diagnostic Tests: What Physicians Need to Know

The Diagnostic Tests department uses a structured approach to provide concise reviews of new diagnostic tests, including discussions of test accuracy, benefits, harms, cost, and clinical bottom line.

Jan 01, 2022 Issue
PrecivityAD for Diagnosis of Alzheimer Disease
The PrecivityAD test is a widely available blood test for older persons with mild cognitive impairment and is marketed to aid in the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease. The APS produced by the test is accurate in predicting the likelihood of positive PET findings, which may reduce the need for amyloid PET imaging. Further research is needed to determine whether use of the PrecivityAD test improves detection and clinical outcomes in patients with Alzheimer disease.

Nov 01, 2021 Issue
Aptima Assay for Detection of Mycoplasma genitalium Infection
The Aptima M. genitalium assay is highly sensitive and specific. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the use of NAAT testing for M. genitalium infection in men with recurrent nongonococcal urethritis, in women with recurrent cervicitis, and possibly in women with pelvic inflammatory disease.

Sep 01, 2021 Issue
Fecal Calprotectin for the Evaluation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Fecal calprotectin measurement is an accurate, simple, cost-effective test that can aid in selecting which patients presenting with possible IBD can be safely observed in the primary care setting.

Jul 01, 2021 Issue
GeneSight Psychotropic Genetic Testing for Psychiatric Medication Selection
The GeneSight test may assist in drug selection and dosing for individuals having difficulty finding an effective option or who have had intolerable adverse effects after trials of several drugs. However, because only a small population of patients are expected to have genetic phenotypes that would necessitate medication changes, preemptive pharmacogenomic testing for all patients in this population is not cost-effective. Routine genetic testing is not recommended. Choosing antidepressants based on health history and symptoms should still be the standard initial approach.

Jun 1, 2021 Issue
Flash Continuous Glucose Monitoring (FreeStyle Libre 14-Day System) for Self-Management of Diabetes Mellitus
The use of FreeStyle Libre increases time in euglycemic range and decreases hyperglycemic and hypoglycemic time and events in adults with type 1 diabetes.

May 1, 2021 Issue
FM/a Blood Test for Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia
Limited data suggest that the FM/a test accurately differentiates patients with fibromyalgia from healthy controls and has some ability to differentiate fibromyalgia from other rheumatologic diseases.

Apr 1, 2021 Issue
Digital Breast Tomosynthesis for Breast Cancer Screening
There is currently not enough evidence to replace digital mammography with digital breast tomosynthesis for breast cancer screening in women at average or high risk.

Mar 1, 2021 Issue
Serum Lactate Testing to Predict Mortality in Patients with Sepsis
Management of patients with sepsis is challenging and mortality is high. Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of therapy are essential. Higher lactate levels correlate with increased risk of mortality, particularly with lactate levels greater than 4.0 mmol per L and in the setting of hypotension.

Feb 1, 2021 Issue
QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ for the Diagnosis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection
QuantiFERON-TB Gold+ testing for the diagnosis of active or latent TB is easily interpreted and more specific than tuberculin skin testing in BCG-vaccinated populations. In environments with an easily accessible laboratory, it may be a preferred option for diagnosing latent TB.

Jan 1, 2021 Issue
CT Colonography for Colorectal Cancer Screening
Computed tomography colonography performs well for colorectal cancer screening. Long-term studies are needed to demonstrate its impact on patient morbidity and mortality, as well as to determine the risks, benefits, and costs.

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