Best Tests March 2007
|Full colour PDF of ‘best tests’ March 2007.
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BNP, Haemochromatosis, Vitamin D: Testing in Primary Care
BNP “…the best role of BNP is to rule out heart failure when symptoms are equivocal…”
- BNP is useful as a ‘rule-out’ test of heart failure in acute dyspnoea.
- The use of BNP in primary care is not yet established.
Haemochromatosis “…early detection of haemochromatosis can avoid development of significant liver pathology…”
- Transferrin saturation and ferritin are the best initial tests.
- Population screening is not currently recommended.
- Gene testing of first degree adult relatives is recommended.
- People with haemochromatosis should be monitored with transferrin saturation and ferritin.
Vitamin D “…supplementation of vitamin D without testing levels is a cost effective option for elderly people in rest homes: One year’s supplementation ~ $12.00 vs Vitamin D blood test ~ $50.00…”
- Increased sun exposure is advisable for people at high risk of vitamin D insufficiency due to inadequate exposure.
- Vitamin D and calcium supplementation is appropriate for people at high risk who cannot increase their sun exposure.
- Testing of vitamin D levels is not usually necessary prior to or after starting vitamin D supplementation for elderly people.
- Vitamin D testing is appropriate for people in specific situations.