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BTD Forums  /  SWAMI Xpress  /  Lewis and MN Phenotyping
Posted by: Karma, Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 8:15pm
I went to my doctor and asked him for Lewis and MN phenotyping. He had no clue what I was talking about and sent me home. :(

I called LabCorp and they again had no clue what I was talking about. It took them 4 days to get back at me. They finally found the test. It is called "antigen typing". Apparently I have to pay for every single antigen (Le a, Le b, MN, MM, NN). Each antigen will cost me $98! :o

I'm probably doing something wrong! Is there a way to get this done easily and cheaply?
Posted by: C_Sharp, Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 8:32pm; Reply: 1
If you are confident in your non secretor value you can probably use it to make a good guess at your Lewis type. (a+b-)
Posted by: C_Sharp, Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 8:49pm; Reply: 2
Usually one test is sufficient for MNS (MN, MM, or NN):

https://www.labcorp.com/wps/portal/!ut/p/c1/hYxdCoJAGADP0gFkP1f90tcVM0NX1tXSfRGDEP9NIqPT5wUq5nGYIYpsjNWzqatHM41VT3KisBQ2ckE5BTuiB6AGMrBcTwcfN1989wB_an6chhspiNqXmWdKPXAMiH1JIZBGbHLKEW0gKcnBLGWLi2jfqWBOeEpU19-zi9LyEburpa3STeTMomU6v8KaWeoc4fYtfn7nIV91Tew-LlVycw!!/dl2/d1/L0lJWm1LQ2xFL0lGaEFDRW9BQkFES0FBUUlLZ0FFQUthbTRnQUVDZyEhL1lJNTBzdXlsd0EhIS83X1VFNFMxSTkzME9HUzIwSVMzTzROMk42NjgwL3NlYXJjaEJ5S2V5d29yZA!!/?criterion=MNS&x=0&y=0
Posted by: C_Sharp, Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 9:02pm; Reply: 3
If you do not like the blood test offered by Lab Corp, several companies offer genetic testing that could be used to get a good estimate of Lewis and MNS values.

You probably will not find a lot that will do both genetic tests for less than $200.
Posted by: Patty H, Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 10:01pm; Reply: 4
Either a hospital OR the American Red Cross should be able to perform the tests.  Your doctor can still order them - which means your insurance will pay for them.  I have a rare blood antigen, so my blood was sent to the hospital in my community who then sent it on to the American Red Cross becasue they were the only ones who could test for the rare blood antigen.  All of this was done free of charge because my doctor ordered it.

Call the local hospital associated with your doctor's office first and ask for the blood lab to see if they can do it, THEN talk to you doctor again once you have the information.  Communicating with your doctor that it is another form of blood typing, similar to ABO blood typing, might help clear up the confusion.  Good luck!
Posted by: Karma, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 7:41pm; Reply: 5
Quoted from C_Sharp
If you do not like the blood test offered by Lab Corp, several companies offer genetic testing that could be used to get a good estimate of Lewis and MNS values.

You probably will not find a lot that will do both genetic tests for less than $200.


Thank you so much for the help C_sharp!
Posted by: Karma, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 7:42pm; Reply: 6
Quoted from Patty H
Either a hospital OR the American Red Cross should be able to perform the tests.  Your doctor can still order them - which means your insurance will pay for them.  I have a rare blood antigen, so my blood was sent to the hospital in my community who then sent it on to the American Red Cross becasue they were the only ones who could test for the rare blood antigen.  All of this was done free of charge because my doctor ordered it.

Call the local hospital associated with your doctor's office first and ask for the blood lab to see if they can do it, THEN talk to you doctor again once you have the information.  Communicating with your doctor that it is another form of blood typing, similar to ABO blood typing, might help clear up the confusion.  Good luck!


I will definitely try that, but I'm pretty sure my insurance will say the test is not medically necessary. They will pass the bill on to me. How did you convince your doctor specifically? Was it because of your rare blood antigen?
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 10:35pm; Reply: 7
If you've already gotten your secretor test, why do you want/need the extra blood testing?
Posted by: Patty H, Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 10:43pm; Reply: 8
Quoted from Karma


I will definitely try that, but I'm pretty sure my insurance will say the test is not medically necessary. They will pass the bill on to me. How did you convince your doctor specifically? Was it because of your rare blood antigen?


No - I just explained that it is another form of blood typing, like ABO blood typing but can give me more information.  Most insurance covers blood typing - period - doesn't matter whether it is ABO, Lewis or MN.  Call the hospital first.  They will know what you are asking for and can give you the information to ask your doctor.
Posted by: Karma, Thursday, December 29, 2011, 12:00am; Reply: 9
Quoted from Patty H


No - I just explained that it is another form of blood typing, like ABO blood typing but can give me more information.  Most insurance covers blood typing - period - doesn't matter whether it is ABO, Lewis or MN.  Call the hospital first.  They will know what you are asking for and can give you the information to ask your doctor.


Thank you!
Posted by: cajun, Thursday, December 29, 2011, 4:28am; Reply: 10
I have wanted to know my A subtype for so long and finally found a lab that does it.
I need to have my doctor order it for my insurance to cover the cost so.?..we will see. I will ask him at my next check up.
It is Quest Diagnostics and they list it as #550613: Blood Group A Subtyping
(64750)  Components ABO Rh  Antigen Typing Specimen Requirements Primary 1. Whole blood EDTA @. Whole blood Unspun  
Notes; Includes routine blood typing to verify blood group A. CPT codes 86905, 86900, 86901    Subtyping limited to indicate if patient is A1 positive or A1 negative
Prices might not include a handling fee.

http://www.specialtylabs.com/tests

I've never had any lewis or duffy testing. I did the NAP saliva test to find out my secretor status.
Posted by: Patty H, Thursday, December 29, 2011, 11:44am; Reply: 11
Cajun, it is more likely your doctor will sign off if you have it done through your local hospital.  Check with the hospital blood lab before you assume your doctor will order something from Quest.  This way you will have the information from both.
Posted by: cajun, Friday, December 30, 2011, 5:53am; Reply: 12
Thanks Patty! good idea. ;)
Posted by: veggiequeen, Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 6:00pm; Reply: 13
This is a really helpful thread. I have an appt scheduled May 1 with my regular doc and want to ask for tests that will be relevant to SWAMI.

Thanks for the tip about calling the hospital lab. They referred me to the hospital blood bank, who said that the doc would have to send me to the blood bank for sample collection and hand labeling in order to send it to the 'regional parent hospital' in a town 30 miles away.

So that is what I'm going to do in an effort to get the tests covered by my insurance.  :)

But a further question... How clear/detailed/specific do you all think I should be when asking the doc for these tests? Talk about the genotyping thing primarily?? so as not to trigger resistance to a blood type based diet??

Realize you all can't know for sure what I should say, but just want to think ahead a little so I don't sound like a crack-pot!  ;D
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