Immunology Services

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The Immunology Department provides a comprehensive laboratory service for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with suspected or confirmed immunodeficiencies, autoimmune diseases, allergic conditions and inflammatory states.

Clinical interpretation of results given on some reports, urgent reports are always phoned to the requesting clincian by clinical trained personnel.

To contact the department, view our contacts page or out of hours contact the switchboard (0121 4242000) for the on-call registrar.

Requesting Immunology Tests

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All tests should, if possible, be requested on the standard Immunology request form. Please take the extra time to furnish clinical details, registration data and hazard information. This assists quicker and safer processing and more accurate interpretation of laboratory data. If it is likely that the volume available at venepuncture will be limited, please contact the laboratory before phlebotomy to discuss the absolute minimum required to perform the requested tests.

Additional tests may also be performed on previously received specimens if sufficient is available in storage. Contact the laboratory by telephone to see if this is possible.

Immunology Reporting

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Printed reports will be dispatched to the patient location when all requested tests have been reported and authorised. In the case of multiple requests on a single specimen, some results may be available prior to the issue of the written report. If you require any result, they may be available by telephone or via the Trust Intranet reporting module. The office staff will be able to give you the result or indicate when it is likely to be ready. Please mark all requests which are urgent as such and give clear details of where the result should be returned to. We endeavour to process all such requests as quickly as possible. The laboratory staff attempt to issue telephone results on all results deemed urgent.

If you have a query about any result or its interpretation, please telephone for assistance.

Cellular Immunology

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The enumeration of lymphocytes and their subsets and assessment of lymphocyte and neutrophil function in-vitro requires varying volumes of blood in plain tubes, EDTA-containing tubes and heparin-containing tubes. Sterile conditions also apply in some assays. Such investigations are not available without prior arrangements with the laboratory (please phone ext 42184).  Full details of specimens required will be given when tests are arranged. For lymphocyte surface markers in known HIV disease (CD3, CD4, CD8), 4mL of blood in EDTA should be taken and sent directly to the laboratory, which should be informed by telephone. Please contact the laboratory before taking the blood.

If you have any doubts about sample requirements, contact the laboratory for advice.