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Complex Biochemistry

About Biochemistry

    • The Biochemistry Department is a medium to high volume, highly automated department performing a large range of chemical pathology tests. The majority of the specimens tested in the department are serum and plasma, with urine, faeces and other bodily fluids also analysed. The department utilises the latest instrumentation to produce the highest quality results. The analysers are directly interfaced with our laboratory information system and then to our EMR to ensure efficient, accurate and timely result communication to clinical staff.
    • Some of the tests performed in the department include: electrolytes, liver function tests, thyroid function test, cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides, glucose and numerous steroids. In addition, analysis for tumour markers, hormones, special proteins and therapeutic drugs are also performed. We have the ability to screen urine for drugs of abuse including amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabinoids, cocaine and opiates.  In addition we provide other specialised assays that are required by  Endocrinology and  Gastroenterology clinicians, as well as a range of other tests. The laboratory refers some specialised testing to external laboratories, including interstate and overseas.

    Complex Biochemistry

    • We run a variety of specialty assays to service our paediatric patients that are not available on our main analysers:
    • Urinary steroid profiling for diagnosis and interpretation of the various forms of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Disorders of Sexual Development (DSDs) and other steroid related conditions, one of only 2 laboratories in Australia offering this service.
    • Catecholamines (Adrenaline, Noradrenaline, Dopamine) including HVA and 5HIAA for diagnosis of pheochromocytomas, paraganglioma, neuroblastomas and carcinoid tumours.
    • Fat-soluble Vitamins A and E; useful for diagnosis of Vitamin A deficiency and toxicity and evaluating persons with intestinal malabsorption of lipids. Vitamin E is useful for diagnosis or evaluation of individuals with motor and sensory neuropathies, monitoring vitamin E status of premature infants requiring oxygenation, and evaluation of persons with intestinal malabsorption of lipids.
    • Disaccharidases sucrase, maltase and lactase analyses for detecting diagnosis of coeliac disease and congenital deficiency syndromes such as sucrase-Isomaltase deficiency, and congenital alactasia .
    • Breath hydrogen gas analysis used to explore pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and carbohydrate malabsorption.
    • Sweat testing, or the measurement of chloride in sweat, is collected by the collection team using iontophoretic introduction of pilocarpine to activate the sweat glands, with sample analysis in the laboratory. This is a specialist diagnostic confirmatory test for Cystic Fibrosis.