October 19, 2009

St. Vincent Charity Hospital the first in Northeast Ohio to offer T-Spot.TB test

CLEVELAND, OHIO--October 14, 2009—St. Vincent Charity Hospital is the first healthcare provider in Northeast Ohio to offer the T-SPOT.TB—a new blood test that will be used to assist in the diagnosis of tuberculosis faster and more efficiently. This innovative method will replace traditional tests such as tuberculin skin test (TST) or the purified protein derivative (PPD).

The T-SPOT.TB test is a highly accurate test with a sensitivity and specificity both greater than 95%.  The T-SPOT.TB test provides comprehensive testing coverage for healthcare workers, patients, immuno-suppressed individuals and TB suspects. The T-SPOT.TB test does not cross-react with the bacilli Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccine and most common non-tuberculosis Mycobacteria. Whether screening patients or healthcare workers, physicians and patients can feel confident with the test results because of the high degree of accuracy the T-SPOT.TB test delivers.

Richard Chmielewski, M.D., infectious disease, championed this test in order to improve the care of patients by providing testing that would provide accurate and clinically relevant data.  “We collectively recognized that this state of the art test was a useful tool in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with tuberculosis that eliminated the potential for false positives inherent to the PPD skin test,” said Mario J. Markovic, Administrative Director of Laboratory Services at St. Vincent Charity Hospital.

“Additionally, we find it important to be on the cutting-edge with diagnostic innovations. We are pleased to have St Vincent Charity Hospital be the first to offer this test in our Northeast Ohio healthcare community,” said Markovic.

Unlike the TST which requires multiple visits, the T-SPOT.TB test requires only one visit and a single blood draw. The T-SPOT.TB test eliminates the subjectivity associated with the TST administration and interpretation. Instead of having to wait 48 to 72 hours for the TST interpretation, the T-SPOT.TB test results are available the next day.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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