Immunology

The immunology department provides laboratory services to assist the diagnosis and monitoring of autoimmune, inflammatory and allergic diseases.

Tests are also available for the detection of immunodeficiency, for the assessment of characteristic immune responses (hypersensitivity) to infections and malignancy and for the characterisation of serum proteins, particularly immunoglobulins, in lymphoid malignancy.

Test repertoire

We provide a comprehensive range of tests for the immunological investigation of patients. We aim to provide the highest quality of service with prompt delivery of accurate results, backed by specialist medical and scientific expertise. Over 95% of tests are now performed “in house”. Where it is more appropriate (for example, for specialised neuroimmunology) samples are referred on to colleagues in other centres.

The quality of all of our work is regularly monitored in National Quality Control Schemes (UKNEQAS) and the laboratory has national (CPA) accreditation for its immunology services.

Requesting of tests

We recommend use of electronic requesting (WEBICE) wherever possible. The WEBICE request pages offers guidance for correct test and tube selection. Because WEBICE requesting automatically books sample details into the appropriate laboratory IT systems, it markedly speeds passage of samples through the laboratories and removes the chances of loss of samples. A full list of tests provided and guide to appropriate requesting is given below.

The laboratory will seek to provide appropriate unlisted tests where possible. Although most tests are carried out using standard serum samples (SST-tube), a few tests require samples to be collected or transported in a special way, click here for details. Please contact the laboratory in advance when requesting these tests. The laboratory has specific rules for the period of time before repeat testing is available.

Interpretation of results

The department will provide appropriate interpretation of test results. Interpretive comments are added to most test reports. A brief summary of clinical application of each test and interpretation of results in given below. The laboratory will provide additional information where necessary. The immunology consultant is happy to provide additional advice and to discuss individual patients.