Clinical Biochemistry At Kings College Hospital
Clinical Biochemistry is a Clinical Pathology Accredited (CPA) department providing a high quality, comprehensive range of routine diagnostic and specialist biochemical testing in a newly refurbished state of the art laboratory. We perform about 4 million tests per year for the hospital and surrounding community; 80% are of a routine diagnostic nature and 20% of a highly complex and specialised nature. We undertake testing for applied and contracted biomedical research.
We are a centre for training in metabolic medicine for medical graduates and for all grades of laboratory staff and have developed a comprehensive training schedule including mentoring and e-learning facilities. We provide a comprehensive pre- and post-investigation consultation and interpretation of results for hospital medical staff and general practitioners.
Comprehensive Specialist Test Portfolio
Specialised assay services are offered nationally and internationally via the supra-regional assay and advisory services (SAAS). This department is unique in housing four SAAS laboratory services on one site:
•The Urinary Steroid Profiling Service is one of two in London and uses up-to-date gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectral analysis. It is headed by Dr Norman Taylor who is a recognised expert in interpretation of this specialised laboratory service.
• The Porphyria SAAS Laboratory, one of two in the UK, is headed by Dr Joanne Marsden. It provides a specialised emergency and routine service for measuring a wide range of abnormal products of the haem biosynthetic pathway which can give rise to potentially fatal abdominal, neurological or dermatological disorders (http://www.porphyria-europe.com ). Linked in with this diagnostic service is a special monthly Porphyria Clinical service run by Dr David Rees, in which patients or family members can be referred for diagnosis, treatment advice and follow-up. The laboratory provides a range of specialised tests to diagnose the different variants of this disease.
• The Trace Elements Laboratory, headed by Dr Kishor Raja, provides specialist assays for a range of elements found in very low concentrations in blood or in tissues, such as iron for the diagnosis of haemochromatosis, or copper for Wilson disease. The laboratory has introduced state-of-the-art Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and expanded the repertoire of trace elements measured and can be used to test for water purity and contamination.
• The Erythropoietin Laboratory offers this specialised assay for the differential diagnosis of polycythaemia and anaemia and for monitoring treatment.
The Specialist Laboratory also provides a comprehensive range of high quality, fast, cost effective specialised testing in the following sections:
• The Endocrine section has an impressive array of automated analysers with most hormone assays run daily. Test profiles are offered for investigating diseases of the pituitary gland, thyroid or adrenals. In addition, profiles for bone metabolism such as Vitamin D and PTH are offered with serum based bone biochemical markers. A range of tumour markers for breast, prostate, gut and skin cancers are run daily. Test profiles for alcohol abuse (serum CDT) are offered in addition to whole blood alcohol levels.
• The Gastro-Intestinal section provides novel and non-invasive tests for intestinal permeability using urinary profiles of different molecular weight sugars taken orally and excreted in the urine. A large workload is from faecal calprotectin testing for gut inflammation, to differentiate between inflammatory conditions from IBS and cancers.
• Genotyping testing using molecular biology techniques for a variety of conditions such as cystic fibrosis and alpha-one antitrypsin used for pre-natal and post-natal diagnosis. These tests will shortly be housed in a newly refurbished Molecular Laboratory.
• Metabolic section offers a range of specialised assays such as neuroendocrine hormones and tumour markers, using HPLC, Mass Spectral analysis.
• Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Toxicology offers tests for drugs of abuse as well as therapeutic monitoring. We offer clozapine services used for psychotic disorders with a 48 hour turnaround time.
• The Specialised Biochemistry section performs specialised tests on CSF for diagnosing intracranial bleeds, MS and other neurological disorders. We are also involved in point-of-care testing as well as in training staff doing lab tests nearer the patient.
Click here to view full details of our range of specialist tests
Routine Core Pathology Testing
A large automated section of the laboratory is dedicated to performing routine diagnostic tests. We have recently further increased our capacity and efficiency levels for such routine testing, with the opening of our newly completed, state-of-the-art Blood Sciences Laboratory.
- Dr Moniz is a consultant in Clinical Biochemistry and Head of Department. He is clinical lead for a weekly Osteoporosis Clinic for primary and secondary causes of osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disorders for conditions such as Pagets, osteomalacia and renal stone formers. He also provides an expert interpretative service for an array of biochemical bone markers used for monitoring bone disorders.
- Dr Royce Vincent is a consultant in Chemical Pathology specialising in nutrition and endocrinology. He runs a weekly endocrine clinic for thyroid disorders and surgery. He is also the clinical lead for parenteral nutrition service and the laboratory provides specialised tests to support these clinical activities.
Research & Clinical Trials
An important feature of the department is the emphasis on NHS research and development, which under the lead of Dr Roy Sherwood, consultant clinical scientist, evaluates new assays and offers contract research. The department has an established track record of supporting clinical and research trials for institutions from both the public and private sector. We are currently involved with major global pharmaceutical companies and research institutions in collaborative projects.
Teaching and training of staff is of high importance and several staff have undertaken research projects for Royal College accreditation, MSc and PhD levels and we support laboratory based projects for undergraduates and post-graduate students as well as visiting students from overseas.
If you would like to discuss how the KingsPath Biochemistry team can support your Pathology activities, please contact the relevant members of our team or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For specific specialist assays, please refer to contact details outlined in the relevant specialist test information sheets on the specialist test page (http://kingspath.co.uk/tests/).
- For clinical trial support, please contact Dr Roy Sherwood (T 020 3299 3726; Email email@example.com)