Clinicians strive to use the most accurate tests available while also considering other factors, such as cost, ease of use, and turnaround time for results. It is important to understand the limitations of a test while interpreting the results. This issue will deal with a few of the most common rapid or point-of-care tests used in the emergency department.
After widespread criticism from the medical community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped a controversial recommendation that de-emphasized the importance of testing asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 cases.
In contrast to recent guidelines — which emphasized the importance of contact tracing because 40% of cases are asymptomatic — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance on Aug. 24, 2020, stating that individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19 do not necessarily need to be tested.
An analysis of the PROMISE trial by age showed that cardiovascular death or myocardial infarction was predicted by a positive stress test in patients with symptoms suggesting myocardial ischemia who were >age 65 years, but only CT angiography or a calcium score was predictive in symptomatic patients < age 65 years.
Scientists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have published early results of an investigative blood test designed to predict which women may be at increased risk and which ones may be at lower-than-average risk for spontaneous preterm delivery. The researchers have identified circulating microparticle proteins found in blood samples taken in the first trimester of pregnancy that may provide clues about the risk of spontaneous preterm birth.
Just-released research findings indicate that a potential rapid chlamydia test delivers accurate results in about 30 minutes, which could make it possible for patients to be treated right away. Such point-of-care testing could help eliminate the need for follow-up appointments because patients would receive treatment at the time of diagnosis, say researchers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends that all citizens be tested for HIV infection at least once between the ages of 13 and 64 years. Results of a recent study indicate that age 25 would be better than younger ages for a single HIV screening test among those young adults without symptoms.