Testing in Special Chemistry is performed on a wide variety of specimens including blood, urine, stool, amniotic fluid, calculi, and even milk. The results we report are used to investigate relatively uncommon conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders, lead poisoning, neuroblastoma and porphyrin disorders. We also perform investigations on amniotic fluid for fetal development and determine vitamin levels in dairy products. Special Chemistry performs as many as approximately 10,000 tests a year; the majority of which are referred in from the many hospitals across Nova Scotia.

Frequency of Testing

  • Due to the nature of the procedures and the complex testing procedures involved, very few of the tests offered in Special Chemistry are available on a Stat (rush) basis.
  • The majority of the tests are not frequently ordered and are used to investigate less common diseases such as pheochromocytoma, malabsorption and lead poisoning. As well, sample procurement for these tests may take several days and often involves fasting or following a special diet. The testing methods can be long and involved and can take anywhere from a few hours to two days to complete. For these reasons, most tests are batched and performed only once per week.

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