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December 2012

Best Tests

When to use fasting glucose to diagnose people with type II diabetes

Until recently, fasting plasma glucose, and in some situations, oral glucose tolerance testing, have been the investigations of choice for diagnosing people with type II diabetes. Recently, recommendations in New Zealand have changed and HbA1c has become the primary assay for diagnosing type II diabetes, along with its continued role in monitoring glycaemic control. However, there are some clinical scenarios where HbA1c is unreliable, and fasting plasma glucose should be used in preference View Article

Testing serum cobalt and chromium in people with metal-on-metal hip replacements

Metal-on-metal hip replacements and resurfacings are associated with higher than acceptable failure rates, and particularly high-risk devices have been recalled. While the number of patients exposed to high-risk prostheses in New Zealand is low, the media coverage of the issue is likely to have caused anxiety in the large number of people who have received hip replacements. Identifying patients who have received a metal-on-metal hip prosthesis and regularly reviewing any symptoms and monitoring serum cobalt and chromium levels will help to detect those with potentially failing devices, and provide reassurance to others. View Article