Specialties & Laboratories
The Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Lurie Children’s provides comprehensive services in both anatomic and clinical pathology.
The Division of Anatomic Pathology Services includes the gross and microscopic examination of surgical specimens, histology, immunohistochemistry, molecular diagnostics, electron microscopy, cytopathology and post-mortem studies. Our team of specialists includes:
Blood Bank Laboratory
The Blood Bank Laboratory performs blood typing; antibody screening and cross-matching; and provides blood components for the treatment of anemia, thrombocytopenia and coagulopathy. Transfusion support is provided for acute emergencies, chronic transfusion needs and special clinical problems such as bone marrow and organ transplantation.
Laboratory director: Glenn Ramsey, MD
Clinical Chemistry Laboratory
The Clinical Chemistry Laboratory performs approximately 300,000 tests annually, providing a variety of standard pediatric tests on blood, urine and other body fluids including spinal fluid. These standard tests include electrolytes, proteins, hormones, enzymes and therapeutic drug monitoring. The laboratory also offers specialty testing including a bone metabolism panel, urine citrate/oxalate, screening of urine for drugs of abuse, Cystic Fybrosis Foundation-accredited sweat test, blood lead by atomic absorption and hemoglobin variant indentification by electrophoresis.
Laboratory director: Shannon Haymond, PhD
Diagnostic Immunology & Flow Cytometry Laboratory
The Diagnostic Immunology Laboratory offers state-of-the-art local and outreach laboratory services for clinicians and investigators involved in the diagnosis, monitoring and evaluation of pediatric immunodeficiency, autoimmune and allergic diseases.
Specialized testing includes diagnostic screening for pediatric immune deficiency disease, leukemia/lymphoma immunophenotyping by flow cytometry and full-service testing for measuring allergen specific antibody. Other services include the measurement of a wide variety of auto-antibodies, routine serum chemistries, and customized four-color flow cytometry panels for the evaluation of novel lymphocyte subsets.
Laboratory director: Aaruni Khanolkar, MBBS, PhD
The Genetics Laboratories offer cytogenetic, molecular and biochemical testing for the diagnosis of inherited disorders, and includes the areas of cytogenetics and biochemistry.
The cytogenetics laboratory performs the preparation of chromosomes from patient material and the study of chromosome morphology. Chromosome abnormalities are detected in approximately one of 150 live births and are the leading known cause of intellectual disabilities. In addition to the morphologic evaluation of chromosomes, the lab also performs the molecular cytogenetics technique of fluoresence in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH analysis allows for the identification of specific chromosome abnormalities that are beyond the resolution of standard morphologic evaluation. The two tests are complementary and often both evaluations must be performed in order to completely access the chromosome architecture.
Currently the laboratory offers FISH testing for eight microdeletion syndromes (DiGeorge syndrome, Williams syndrome, Prader-Willi/Angelman syndrome, Kallman syndrome, Wolf-Hirschorn syndrome, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, Smith-Magenis syndrome and Miller-Dieker syndrome). Specialty FISH testing is also performed when warranted by morphologic chromosome analysis. In addition to chromosome analysis and FISH, the laboratory also serves as a cell culture facility for specimens that need specialized (non-cytogenetic) testing.
The Biochemistry laboratory analyzes amino acid and organic acid levels and performs enzyme assays to comprehensively diagnose metabolic processing disorders such as phenylketonuria and galactosemia.
Scientific director cytogenetics: Katrin Carlson Leuer, PhD
Phone: 312.227.9467 for Genetics and 312.227.6040 for Cytogenetics
Hematology & Special Hematology Laboratory
The Hematology and Special Hematology Laboratory performs more than 117,000 routine hematologic tests annually on blood and body fluids, including special tests such as osmotic fragility. The coagulation section offers routine and special coagulation tests such as von Willebrand antigen, ristocetin cofactor, inhibitor assays and platelet function analysis. Routine urinalysis is also performed.
This laboratory supports the Hematology/Oncology services by offering diagnostic testing for hematologic abnormalities. This includes the analysis of over 400 bone marrow aspirates and the many related studies required.
Phone: 3112.227.3906 for Hematology and 312.227.3914 for Specialty Hematology
Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory
The Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Laboratory (HLA) provides molecular histocompatibility testing (DNA-based class I typing, HLA-A, B, and C; and DNA-based class II typing, HLA-DRB1 and DQB1; at low and high resolution levels) that help physicians identify the best donors for their transplant patients. These types of tests are particularly important for leukemic patients who require unrelated stem cell transplants. These types of patients require donors that are very similar at the HLA molecular level.
The laboratory also performs molecular testing to identify the level of engraftment after the transplant has been performed (chimerism analysis by short-tandem repeats). The HLA laboratory also performs testing for solid organ transplant patients (antibody screening and antibody specificity by flow cytometry analysis).
The Microbiology Laboratory offers testing for medically important pathogens including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Culture isolation, identification, antimicrobial susceptibility, antibody and molecular diagnostic assays for infectious diseases such as viral DNA/RNA detection, and other molecular genetic disorders are also offered.
Laboratory director: Xiaotian Zheng, MD, PhD, DABMM
Special Infectious Diseases Laboratory
Special Infectious Disease Laboratory performs tests for the indication of potential HIV-infected patients, monitoring efficacy of antiviral drug therapy, the detection of antiviral drug resistant viruses and the identification of other HIV-related opportunistic infections. The laboratory also participates in AIDS Clinical Treatment Groups (ACTG) in carrying out various clinical protocols as well as helps to adapt and develop new molecular diagnostic methods for the detection of HIV infection and related diseases.