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by DUSTYN WILLIAMS, MD

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke that has escalated to alarming rates in recent years, affecting nearly 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. In an attempt to reduce its prevalence, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC-8) released a set of hypertension management guidelines. However, various concerns arose regarding the recommendations and as a result, the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA), along with nine additional specialty organizations, published an updated hypertension guideline in November 2017.

If you’re like many physicians and Point of Care (POC) laboratories, you may be dealing with suboptimal performance from some of your current diagnostic methods. For example, conventional Rapid Influenza Diagnostics Tests (RIDTs) vary in terms of sensitivity and specificity when compared with viral culture or reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Product insert information and research publications indicate that in general, RIDTs sensitivities are approximately 50-70%.