Liver Cirrhosis is a Global Health Burden
#LoveYourLiver this January. This month, we are taking a closer look at Liver Cirrhosis.
Liver cirrhosis occurs when the healthy tissue of the liver is replaced with scar tissue (fibrosis) due to long-term liver damage. Liver cirrhosis can result in liver failure which can be fatal.
Liver complications such as liver disease and cirrhosis can be detrimental if it is not treated or monitored. Liver disease is the only major cause of death still increasing year-on-year. Globally, deaths due to liver cirrhosis have increased from 676,000 in 1980 to over 1 million in 2010 (NCBI, 2014). Cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases have increased by 12.4% from 2006-2016 and was the cause of 1,256,900 deaths in 2016 (Global Burden of Disease, 2016).
There are a few factors that increase the risk of liver cirrhosis. The three main factors are heavy alcohol consumption, an undiagnosed hepatitis infection, particularly hepatitis C, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (a more severe form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) due to obesity.
There are numerous symptoms associated with liver cirrhosis. Some of the more severe symptoms include:
- Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Personality changes, confusion, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, or hallucinations
- A tendency to bleed or bruise easily
- In women, abnormal periods
- In men, enlarged breasts, a swollen scrotum (the loose sac of skin that contains the testicles) or shrunken testicles
- Stomach pain – swollen or bloated stomach
Liver cirrhosis cannot be cured, but the aim of treatment is to manage the symptoms and complications, and to stop the condition getting worse.
#LoveYourLiver and prevent or reduce the symptoms of liver cirrhosis through: moderating alcohol consumption, not sharing needles to inject drugs, using a condom during sex, taking medications as prescribed, and maintaining a healthy weight.
The early stages of liver cirrhosis usually does not present any symptoms and is often first detected using routine blood tests. Liver cirrhosis can be diagnosed and monitored through the following routine blood tests:
Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
ALT is one of the enzymes within the aminotransferases group and are among the most sensitive liver enzymes. The normal concentration levels of ALT in the blood are low, however, when the liver is damaged, such as liver cirrhosis, the levels of ALT increase. During the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis, the root cause of the damage can be established, such as disease, drug or injury. ALT is commonly measured alongside AST as part of the hepatic panel.
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
AST is an enzyme found throughout the body. Elevated concentration levels of AST in the blood is directly correlated to the severity of the tissue damage. AST also allows for the root cause of the damage to be diagnosed. Excessive levels are indicative of damage due to acetaminophen overdose or acute viral hepatitis. Moderately high levels are indicative of alcohol abuse. Slightly high levels are indicative of cirrhosis.
AST is commonly measured alongside ALT as part of the hepatic panel, although ALT levels are higher in most types of liver damage.
Albumin is a special protein made in the liver and provides the body with the proteins it requires to grow and repair tissue. The body requires a proper balance of albumin to prevent fluid from seeping out of blood vessels. Decreased concentrations levels of this protein in the blood is an indicator of liver cirrhosis.
Randox supply a range of third party clinical diagnostic hepatic reagents to aid in the diagnosis and managing the complications of liver cirrhosis. All reagents are available for use on a range of third party biochemistry analysers. Randox offer the following hepatic reagents to diagnose liver cirrhosis:
Randox also offer the following high performance and unique tests to diagnose liver cirrhosis:
Why choose Randox reagents?
- Randox offers the largest range of chemistries
- Liquid ready-to-use reagents available
- Automated applications for a wide range of clinical analysers
- Excellent correlation to reference methods
- Wide measuring ranges
- Flexible pack sizes
- Official accreditation to national and international standards including UKAS, ISO 13485:2003, and FDA.
- Easy fit reagents
- Easy read reagents
To request an application for your specific analyser, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on liver function or to view our hepatic panel, visit https://www.randox.com/liverfunction/
Honey naturally contains a small amount of enzymes which can vary widely by floral source and region. These enzymes play an important role by contributing to functional properties of honey, making it a unique ingredient that is far more complex than other sweeteners.
According to the EU Honey Directive 2001/110/EC, certain composition criteria must be determined for honeys intended for human consumption. In order to achieve this, the most modern enzymatic analyser in the industry, the RX misano, is now available for the analysis of diastase, total sugars (glucose/fructose), HMF and colouration.
Designed with the user in mind, the RX misano incorporates a responsive touch screen display, test menu personalisation and the ability to upload new parameters via USB. With an increase in automatic features, the RX misano also guarantees the precision and accuracy of results, improving the overall efficiency and versatility of enzymatic honey analysis.
The RX misano for honey suits a wide variety of users from bee keepers, to large honey producers/packagers and QA laboratories. It’s table top size allows it to be very versatile in different locations and needs very little maintenance from the user. The user-friendly interface and simple sample preparations means there is no need for the user to have had previous lab experience to run honey samples with the analyser.
For a summary of the benefits of the RX misano see below.
7” responsive touch screen display, favourites menu, on screen prompts, the ability to export data into excel and import new menus.
With the ability to automatically calculate results, the RX misano leaves less chance for human error.
Customisable test menus
As the RX misano for honey test menu continues to grow, users can simply upload new parameters to the machine via USB.
Results are quantitative and produced within +/- 1% of UKAS accredited reference materials, boasting increased accuracy compared to alternative methods.
Reduced foot print
With a smaller footprint than standard spectrophotometers, the RX misano is suitable for laboratories of all sizes.
Excellent thermal performance
The RX misano heats to 37°C in less than 30 seconds and cools from 37°C to 25°C in less than 1 minute.
For more information on the RX misano or any of our other honey testing options please email us at: email@example.com.
Randox Clinical Laboratory Services is built upon Randox’s 35 years as an invitro diagnostics company, and is on hand to assist your drug discovery ensuring the toxicity and efficacy of your drug before proceeding to Phase 1 of your clinical trial.
RCLS currently has four state of the art, fully functional ISO12025 accredited laboratories across the UK. They are situated in Liverpool, London and two in Northern Ireland, Hollywood and Randox Science Park in Antrim.
RCLS looks to expand their team of experienced scientists, working towards further accreditations and furthermore setting up two additional labs in Dubai and Los Angeles. The addition of these purpose-built labs will give RCLS the ability to increase output to both the pharmaceutical, health and research market.
The RCLS laboratories offer unrivalled sample management and workflow with a unique identifier and sample traceability allowing patient history to be 100% accurate and guaranteed. The storage locations of sample are located separately with a duration of 15-25 years in fire proof cabinets. The sample rejection criteria and sample destruction processes are different from diagnostics standards as we offer multiple bar coding, sample manifests dictated by LIMS and double blinding of samples undergoing genomic testing.
A variety of analysers are situated across all RCLS laboratories not only including our RX Series and Evidence Series of multiplex immunoassay analysers but also third party analysers ensuring the testing abilities are diverse. The equipment covers chemistry, haematology, urinalysis and immunoassay testing capabilities.
With a greater understanding of human complexity, pharmaceutical companies are now focusing on developing safer drugs tailored to specific patient groups or sub-groups and the expansion plans in motion at RCLS will help these organisations bring new drugs to the market quicker.
If you would like more information on RCLS please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published guidelines that state doctors should not prescribe precious antibiotics for most people with sore throats and should instead recommend drugs like paracetamol.
The guidelines from NICE and Public Health England, which aim to limit the use of antibiotics, said doctors should only be prescribing the medicines for more severe cases that are most likely to have been caused by a bacterial infection.
This is despite recent research that suggests antibiotics are prescribed in 60% of sore throat cases, for which doctors are unable to tell if the infection is viral or bacterial.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said most sore throats were caused by viral infections, which cannot be treated by antibiotics.
At Randox, our pioneering R&D teams have developed a revolutionary swab test for respiratory infections which indicates the cause of the infection and whether a patient needs antibiotics or not. This helps to limit the number of patients who are prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily.
The Randox test, which can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 21 respiratory infections in just 5 hours, assists the clinician in prescribing the appropriate antibiotic.
John Lamont, Lead Scientist at Randox Laboratories, said;
“Current diagnostic testing for respiratory infections takes at least 36 hours to confirm the nature of an infection, and they cannot name and categorise infections as bacterial or viral in the way our new respiratory test can.”
This test, if widely adopted, could allow medical practitioners to make the correct treatment choice on the same day as examination and before patients have already begun a precautionary course of inefficient antibiotics. It would also have additional efficiency savings for the NHS, by eliminating the need for lengthy microbiology lab tests and unnecessarily prescribing drugs which are not needed.
This new rapid and accurate test will give clinicians confidence in their diagnosis of respiratory infections and will allow for quicker treatment if necessary, which benefits patient outcomes.
The test is also available as a Randox Health Cough, Cold & Flu offering, and can be carried out by booking an appointment with Randox Health at our clinics in Crumlin, Holywood or London, or by arranging the mobile clinic to visit you at your home or place of work.
Find out more about the Cough, Cold & Flu Respiratory test here.
Book an appointment with one of our clinics, or arrange the mobile clinic, by phoning 0800 2545 130 or by clicking here.
For further information please contact the Randox PR team by email: email@example.com or phone 028 9442 2413
The Evidence Investigator is a compact, semi-automated benchtop analyser that offers efficient and comprehensive testing across a range of applications including clinical diagnostics, molecular, research, toxicology and food diagnostics.
Renowned for its versatility, robustness and effective reporting methods, the Evidence Investigator has been used in a wide range of laboratory settings for over 15 years. This highly advanced yet simple to use analyser has only one moving part, giving the user peace of mind.
The Evidence Investigator contains a host of innovative on-board data analysis features ensuring manual processes are kept to a minimum.
By utilising the same multiplex technology as the other Evidence Series analysers, the Evidence Investigator can process up to 44 results from a single sample, with a maximum throughput of up to 2376 tests per hour. Offering efficiency without compromising on accuracy, the Evidence Investigator is the perfect fit for medium throughput laboratories seeking maximum use of bench space.
Accurate and Robust
Like all the Evidence Series analysers, what sets it apart is technology. The Evidence Investigator is extremely well equipped to provide reliable results, while simultaneously robust enough to withstand frequent, heavy use.
Results are generated using a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera, which quantifies chemiluminescent light. This light measures the degree of binding between the patient sample and specific biochip bound ligands, generating highly accurate and reliable results.
The Evidence Investigator is the world’s first platform allowing consolidation of immunoassay and molecular diagnostics. This is achieved through utilising protein and DNA based biochips. By giving the user the ability to consolidate tests, the Evidence Investigator improves laboratory efficiency and reduces costs.
The Evidence Investigator image processing software translates light signal generated from chemiluminescent reactions into analyte concentration. This removes the need for any manual processing of data.
Previously unreported tests can also be retrieved, so they can be tested retrospectively. This saves time, labour costs and reduces any reagents wastage. All data is then analysed on-board, removing issues related to human error and result manipulation.
About the Randox Evidence Series
The Evidence Series is set to revolutionise diagnostic testing forever. Offering unrivalled capabilities across all analysers, we truly believe that the Evidence Series range of immunoassay analysers can meet your diagnostic testing capabilities.
Randox offers an extensive range of third party diagnostic reagents which are internationally recognised as being of the highest quality; producing accurate and precise results. We have the largest test menu of 118 assays, covering over 100 disease markers including specific proteins, lipids, therapeutic drug monitoring, drugs of abuse, antioxidants, coagulation, diabetes and veterinary testing.
Some of the key benefits of Randox Reagents include:
Randox reagents can help create cost-savings for laboratories through excellent reagent stability; by eliminating the need for costly re-runs through the excellent quality of products. We also offer a range of kit sizes including smaller kit sizes for niche tests to reduce waste.
Reduce the risk of errors and have confidence in patient results
Our traceability of material and extremely tight manufacturing tolerances ensure uniformity across reagent batches reducing lot-to-lot variability. In addition, our assays are validated against gold-standard methods, giving you the confidence that you are sending out the correct patient results.
Reduce your time spent on running tests through liquid ready-to-use reagents, automated methods (compared to the traditional laborious ELISA methods used for some tests such as cystatin C or adiponectin) as well as our easy-fit options.
Expand your routine testing
With speciality assays for 195 of the most common clinical chemistry analysers; assays which usually require dedicated equipment, or was previously only available as an ELISA, can now be run on automated biochemistry analysers, allowing your laboratory to expand its routine test menu. For example, cystatin C, adiponectin, TxBCardio™ and many more.
Bring testing in-house
With smaller kit sizes and excellent reagent stability (most are stable for 28 days on-board the analyser), you don’t have to worry about reagent wastage, allowing testing to be brought in-house rather than sent to external laboratories.
Expand your test menu without expanding your lab
There is no need to buy any extra equipment in order to expand your test menu. Our reagents can be programmed onto the majority of the most common biochemistry analysers. At present, we have hundreds of applications available.
Download our reagents brochure to find out about our full range of biochemistry reagents.
Randox reagents are available for a wide range of clinical chemistry analysers. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A recent report by the Independent discussed how buying drugs has become as easy as buying ice cream. The report comes after experts named London as a city where cocaine is now delivered faster than pizza. According to the NHS, in the UK 2.7 million people between the ages of 16 and 59 took an illicit drug in 2015 and 2016 (roughly one in 12 adults). As a result, the Global Drug Survey are now looking at the impact of encrypted mobile phone messaging services and other methods that have enabled quick drug deliveries.
However, the drug problem is worldwide. In the US, life expectancy has fallen for the second consecutive year amid concerns of increased drug related deaths, the first multi-year drop since 1962 and 1963 according to the US National Centre for Health Statistics (NCHS). The NCHS documented that more than 63,600 US deaths in 2016 were due to drug related overdoses, a number that continues to increase.
MDMA has continued to appear in the news, after the deadly substance was responsible for the recent deaths of multiple teenagers in the UK. Also known as Ecstasy, MDMA is often described as the original designer drug due to its link with the dance culture in the late 80s and early 90s. Randox Toxicology’s DoA II panel tests for common drugs of abuse, including MDMA and generic opioids.
With the use of Biochip Array Technology, we have made multiplex testing capabilities possible. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to the ever-changing drug market influences and develop assays for current and novel drug trends.
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Purity is a concern with MDMA, which is regularly sold containing other fatal drugs. Newshub released information from Wendy Allison at KnowYourStuffNZ, who stated that only 20 percent of the drugs they tested in New Zealand contained MDMA. KnowYourStuffNZ’s website advises people to avoid certain pressed pills containing large amounts of MDMA. Theses pills include “Green Guccis”, a rectangular green pill with the Gucci logo and “Yellow Rolexes”, a yellow pill shaped like the Rolex crown logo. The comedown of Ecstasy can cause users to feel depression, whilst long term users can suffer from memory problems and anxiety. The use of the Class A drug has also been linked to liver, kidney and heart problems.
Our Randox Biosciences division is a trusted partner in supplying quality diagnostic solutions to the Clinical, Life Science, Pharmaceutical, Research and BioPharma industries.
Our molecular product range offers diagnostic, prognostic and predictive solutions across a variety of disease areas including sexually transmitted infections (STI), respiratory tract infection, colorectal cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Additionally, we can provide a wide range of assay formats including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) genotyping, pathogen detection and mutation detection. The arrays are optimised for use with the Randox Evidence Investigator semi-automated, medium throughput bench-top biochip analyser.
One test, 10 results.
Our STI multiplex array II simultaneously detects 10 bacterial, viral and protozoan infections including primary, secondary and asymptomatic co-infections for a complete infection profile. The assay is based on a combination of multiplex, PCR and biochip array hybridisation. Innovative PCR priming technology permits high discrimination between multiple targets. A unique primer set is designed for each target which will hybridise to a complimentary oligo-nucleotide probe spotted on a biochip discrete test region (DTR).
The combination of priming and spatially organised biochip array technology enables enhanced specificity of the assay. Analysis can be completed from template DNA through PCR to data readout in less than 6 hours. The array is validated for urine and swab sample matrices with up to 53 patient samples being processed simultaneously. The array is CE marked for routine clinical use.
Our STI Multiplex Array II includes tests for the following STIs;
Neisseria Gonnorrhoea (NG) Mycoplasma Genitalium (MG)
Ureaplasma Urealyticum (UU) Chlamydia Trachhomatis (CT)
Tricomonas Vaginalis (TV) Haemophilus Ducreyi (HD)
Mycoplasma Hominis (MH) Treponema Pallidum (TP)
Herpes Simplex virus I (HSV-1) Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2)
Randox Biosciences also offer four additional Molecular arrays.
For more information on our Molecular arrays please contact us by sending an email to Info@randoxbiosciences.com
What is Lyophilisation?
Lyophilisation or ‘freeze drying’ is the process by which water is removed from a product after it is frozen and placed under a vacuum, allowing the ice to change directly from solid to vapor without passing through a liquid phase. The process consists of three separate processes:
- Primary Drying (Sublimation)
- Secondary Drying (Desorption)
There are many benefits to using a lyophilised control including; improved product shelf-life and enhanced stability of volatile analytes. For example, many lyophilised controls have a shelf life of up to four years from the date of manufacture resulting in a reduction of costly new lot validation studies. Furthermore, lyophilised controls can be aliquoted and refrozen to extend the working stability of the product.
Reconstituting Lyophilised QC Material
The process of reconstitution involves adding a specified volume of distilled water to lyophilised QC material. The water should completely dissolve the lyophilised contents, giving a liquid solution, which is ready for analysis.
Reconstitution is a straightforward process, but requires a high level of precision. Small errors can have serious implications to the reconstituted material:
- If too much water is pipetted during reconstitution, the material will be heavily diluted and results will be lower than expected
- If too little water is pipetted during reconstitution, the material will not be sufficiently diluted, and results will be higher than expected
- If the correct volume of water is pipetted, but a small amount of water gets stuck in the pipette tip due to poor pipetting technique, results will be higher than expected
If a lyophilised control has been reconstituted incorrectly the contents of the vial will be wasted. It is therefore vitally important that controls are reconstituted with care.
Materials and Methods Required
The list of requirements for an accurate and consistent reconstitution technique is not extensive, but each requirement is vital. Labs should have:
- Calibrated volumetric pipettes
- Sterile, appropriately sized pipette tips
- Distilled water, or other reconstitution fluid as specified
- Technician with good pipetting technique
- Lyophilised QC stored according to manufacturer’s specifications
How to Reconstitute Lyophilised QC Material
Each different lyophilised control may require slightly different preparation, always refer to the instructions for use before reconstituting control material. The below guide provides a general overview of the reconstitution process, using the Randox Human Assayed Chemistry Premium Plus control (HN1530) as an example
- Place the vial of lyophilised QC on a flat surface, carefully remove the lid and the rubber stopper making sure not to spill any material
- Using a calibrated pipette and sterilised pipette tip, add exactly 5ml of distilled water directly into the QC vial, ensuring no water is left in the pipette tip, or on the rim/side of the vial
- Place the rubber stopper and lid firmly back onto the QC vial, and leave to stand for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, gently invert the QC vial 10-15 times to ensure the contents is completely dissolved, making sure to avoid the formation of foam. It is important that you DO NOT SHAKE the vial. Alternatively place the vial on a roller for 30 minutes to ensure the contents is thoroughly mixed
- Once satisfied all material has been completely dissolved, proceed to use the QC product in accordance with the ‘Control’ section of the individual analyser application
- Once finished, refrigerate any unused material. It is good practice to label the vial with the date of reconstitution to prevent the use of material outside of the recommended stability period
- Prior to reusing lyophilised material, mix the contents thoroughly by gentle inversion, as highlighted in Step 4
It is important to remember that there may be slightly different reconstitution requirements for different QC material. For this reason, it is vital that the instructions provided on the QC Kit Inserts are closely followed.
Reconstituting lyophilised QC can be time-consuming. Therefore, Randox Acusera offer convenient 5ml distilled water serum diluent to assist laboratories with reconstitution of lyophilised controls. These user-friendly pour over vials streamline the reconstitution process and eliminate the risk of pipetting errors.
If you have any further questions regarding lyophilised controls or would like to contact us, please do so by emailing us at email@example.com or use the contact us button provided.
Within any business, companies seek to outline clear methods in which employees should act and behave whilst carrying out their roles. These rules are outlined in company workplace policies. Every business – no matter which industry it operates in – should have well-documented and comprehensive workplace policies and procedures in place.
According to the Employment Law Handbook, a workplace policy is a set of rules and principles that aims to provide guidance to managers and workers in how to behave in the workplace. They can be in place for numerous different issues – bullying, harassment, internet use, health and safety are just a few that can be implemented.
Health and Safety
As mentioned above, health and safety is an important aspect of any workplace policy. The health and well-being of the working community is of utmost importance for sustainable development. Specifically, a drug and alcohol policy is a key part of the overall health and safety policy within a company. Alcohol and drugs through their effects on health, safety, work performance and absenteeism can jeopardise productivity, deny businesses the leading edge and curtail competitiveness. Effectively implemented drug and alcohol policies will help employers in the legal duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees.
The need for a Drug and Alcohol Policy
Drugs and alcohol misuse can have dangerous consequences within the workplace. All organisations can benefit from an agreed policy that applies to all staff. There are wide range of statistics available to highlight the worrying impact that drugs and alcohol can have on individuals. In 2016, it was estimated that £7 billion was lost in productivity through unemployment and sickness. Furthermore, 10.8 million adults in England are drinking at levels that pose some risk to their health. A survey carried out by UK based Health and Safety Consultants Protecting.co.uk showed that; from 2,600 workers in office, factory, retail and the public sector, 85% admit to being drunk at work in the last year; not including the Christmas party. 28% of those surveyed admitted using drugs at work, including NPS (formerly legal highs) cannabis and other illegal substances.
From a legal point of view, employers have a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of employees. Also, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees. If an employer knowingly allows an employee under the influence of drug misuse to continue working and his/her behaviour places the employee or others at risk, they may face prosecution.
Advantages of having Policies in place
Having well-developed policies and procedures can provide a range of benefits to an organisation. An effectively implemented drug and alcohol policy will ensure a clear understanding within the workplace of the rules relating to drugs and alcohol. It will also provide a greater awareness in workplaces of the effects of drugs and alcohol an consequently early recognition. Furthermore, it ensures that the necessary structures and procedures are in place should a problem arise. An up to date policy will also provide assurance that key staff have been trained to understand the issues involved and have the necessary skills to deal with any problems should they arise.
How can Randox Testing Services help?
At Randox Testing Services we offer a comprehensive consultancy service to help employers create, an effective substance misuse policy. By providing this service we offer practical advice, guidance and support in composing a substance misuse policy.
Our confidential policy review service provides assistance to employers with an existing substance misuse policy. With this service, we help to modify existing documents to ensure it is legally viable and can withstand challenge in court.
To read more on workplace policies and their importance within an organisation, click here.