Laboratory Studies

Urea and electrolytes are used to monitor disturbances of homeostasis and direct correction of acidosis. Blood glucose monitoring should be rapidly instituted for the treatment of unstable diabetes. Arterial blood gases assist in determining the degree of acidosis and direct corrective treatments. A full blood examination is indicated, including assessment of neutrophil count, monitoring of recovery after withdrawal of cytotoxic therapies, and institution of colony-stimulating factor treatment. Iron studies permit assessment of the presence of iron overload as shown by high ferritin levels and a low total iron-binding capacity. At this time, molecular techniques for detection of Zygomycetes by polymerase chain reaction or other methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays are not widely available and are reserved primarily for research purposes. Further development and validation will be required before their inclusion in clinical practice becomes routine.

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