American Society for Clinical Pathology

View all recommendations from this society

October 19, 2017

Do not repeat hemoglobin electrophoresis (or equivalent) in patients who have a prior result and who do not require therapeutic intervention or monitoring of hemoglobin variant levels.

Pre-conception and antenatal hemoglobin electrophoresis screening is recommended, especially in high prevalence areas for sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and has become routine practice in order to detect abnormalities of hemoglobins S, C, D-Punjab, E, O-Arab, Lepore, beta-thalassemia trait, delta/beta thalassemia trait, alpha thalassemia trait (2 chain deletion), and hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH). Partner testing should be offered when there is a risk of a significant hemoglobinopathy in the infant. Repeat hemoglobin electrophoresis testing is required only to make a more specific diagnosis or monitor the results of interventional therapies in patients with known hemoglobinopathies. Providers should investigate prior results before requesting a repeat hemoglobin electrophoresis.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1-5: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list was developed under the leadership of the chair of ASCP’s Institute Advisory Committee and Past President of ASCP. Subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine were included in this process for their expertise and guidance. The review panel examined hundreds of options based on both the practice of pathology and evidence available through an extensive review of the literature. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and, eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. The final list is not exhaustive (many other tests/procedures were also identified and were also worthy of consideration), but the recommendations, if instituted, would result in higher quality care, lower costs, and more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

6–10: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Choosing Wisely Ad Hoc Committee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and is comprised of subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered an initial list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees and councils. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implementation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care, lower costs and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

11–15: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Effective Test Utilization Subcommittee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and comprises subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered an initial list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees, and councils. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful (either entirely or in specific clinical situations); use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implementation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care, lower costs, and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

16–20: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Effective Test Utilization Steering Committee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and comprises of subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered a list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees and councils. In addition, an announcement was made to ASCP’s membership seeking suggestions for possible recommendations to promote member involvement. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implemetation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care,lower costs and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

ASCP’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.ascp.org.

Sources

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. Interpretation of newborn hemoglobin screening results. [Internet]. Lansing (MI): Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. 2015. [cited 2017 July 14]. Available from: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Interpretation_of_Newborn_Hemoglobin_Screening_Results_Sep2013_438936_7.pdf

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Association of Public Health Laboratories. Hemoglobinopathies: Current practices for screening, confirmation and follow-up. [Internet]. Silver Spring (MD): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Association of Public Health Laboratories. 2015. [cited 2017 July 14]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/documents/nbs_hemoglobinopathy-testing_122015.pdf

Lane PA. Newborn screening for hemoglobin disorders. [Internet]. 2001. [cited 2017 July 14]. Available from https://sickle.bwh.harvard.edu/screening.html

Ryan K, Bain BJ, Worthington D ,James J, Plews D, Mason A, Roper D,Rees DC, De la Salle B, Streetly A. Significant haemoglobinopathies: guidelines for screening and diagnosis. British Journal of Haematology, [Internet]. 2010 Jan. [cited 2017 July 14]; 149, 35–49