Labs To Run

Knowing which labs to have run can be challenging especially If you are doing research on your own and don't have a knowledgable physician working with you.  Most of the labs you'll want to run are tests that can be done through Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp and in most cases, insurance companies do cover the costs of these tests. 

Ensuring that you are getting the right tests run at the correct lab, and prepared the right way is a challenge. The following documents provide test names, which lab to use, and special instructions for some specialty tests. These documents are helpful to bring to your doctor if they are not familiar with the testing you are requesting. Having copies of these can be helpful both for your doctor, and for the lab draw technicians as they may not be familiar with the specific preparation procedures required for these tests. 

*Note: to ensure accuracy, you may need to inform the blood-draw lab that certain tests you are having done may require different preparation, preservation, shipping, and destination instructions than they are used to. Please bring these documents with you so that you can show the lab technicians what you'll need them to do. Contact Quest Labs Client Services in Baltimore, MD and ask them to send the necessary Dr. Shoemaker instructions to your local Quest lab before you arrive. This will help your local lab prepare for your draw and understand the special testing and shipping requirements Dr. Shoemaker requests. 

Nasal Cultures

Effective immediately, nasal cultures to isolate and identify coag neg
staphs will be run by Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine, Bedford,
Massachusetts.  DLM is run by Dr. Joseph Musto; reach him at 781-275-0855 or The lab is CLIA certified.

The lab website is  Note the plural labs in the website and
singular lab in Dr. Musto's email address.

Cost is $50 for negative culture and $85 for positive culture and
antibiograms. Cultures are not run through insurance, fee-for-service only.
Billing is monthly; patients will be furnished with a HCFA form for submission on their own to their insurance carriers. 

Online Vision Contrast Sensitivity (VCS) Test
The online screening test is a measure of one of the neurologic functions of vision called contrast.  Your corrected visual acuity must be better than 20:50.
There must be adequate illumination.  We use a light meter to confirm 70 foot-lamberts or more.  Light from both the illuminated computer screen and an overhead light is usually sufficient.  The test is taken with one eye covered and one open at a distance of 18” from the computer screen.  You will do the test first with the left eye and then with the right eye. You need to make sure the distance from the screen stays constant at 18”.  Some people have found that cutting a string to an 18“ length helps keep the distance correct.

Your score is recorded according to published criteria for VCS testing.  It is a ”Pass/Fail,” though how well you do can be used to assess your improvement over time or worsening with re-exposure/repeat illness.
Take the VCS test Here

Complement & Cytokine Labs - Quest
For all complement assays C3a, C3d, C1q, C2, C4, C4d, Factor B: Use Baltimore Codes

C3a & C4a
There have been many questions regarding the lab testing for C4a and C3a.  These tests must be done through Quest - the LabCorp testing is no longer valid.  The Quest system has representatives for each area.  Questions about coverage and insurance should be directed to your area sales rep.  It is normal for results to take up to 4 weeks to return.

Cytokine Panel (National Jewish Hospital, Denver, CO)
TNF;IL-B;IL 6, IL 10; and Interferon; alpha, beta and gamma
Specimen requirements 2ml serum and 5ml plasma (freeze) 

Mail to Quest Labs in Baltimore, MD, and they will forward to National Jewish 
Samples for cytokines, complement, MMP-9, VEGF MUST NOT THAW. Send in plenty of dry ice, overnight, next day morning delivery to:

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
1901 Sulphur Spring Road
Baltimore, MD 21227

Specimen Requirements

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