Lab Definitions

ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF TESTS

A/G Ratio – The albumin/globulin ratio is the albumin (A) laboratory value divided by the globulin (G) value. A low ratio is found in some types of liver and kidney diseases, infections, and inflammations.

 

Albumin – Albumin is the major protein found in blood and is a good reflection of one’s nutritional status. Low levels occur in malnutrition and in some chronic diseases. Dehydration can cause increased albumin levels.

 

Alanine transaminase (ALT) – ALT is an enzyme concentrated mainly in the liver. Significant elevations suggest liver disease.

 

Alkaline Phosphatase – Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme located primarily in the body’s liver and bone cells. Elevations in alkaline phosphatase can indicate liver or bone disease.

 

Aspartate transaminase (AST) – AST is an enzyme concentrated mainly in the heart and liver. Increased blood levels occur with heart, liver, and muscle damage. It may also be released from red blood cells if those cells are damaged when blood is being drawn.

 

Bilirubin Total – A bilirubin test is used to detect an increased level in the blood. It may be used to help determine the cause of jaundice and/or help diagnose conditions such as liver disease, hemolytic anemia, and blockage of the bile ducts. Bilirubin concentrations tend to be slightly higher in males than in females. African Americans routinely show lower bilirubin concentrations than non-African Americans. Strenuous exercise may increase bilirubin levels.

 

Blood Gas (ABG) – Blood gas measurements are used to evaluate lung function and acid/base balance. They are typically ordered if someone is having worsening symptoms of a respiratory problem, such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, and a condition such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is suspected. Abnormal results of any of the blood gas components may indicate oxygen deficiency, excessive carbon dioxide, or problems with kidney function. (labtestsonline.org)

 

B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP) – A test for BNP is primarily used to help detect, diagnose, and evaluate the severity of heart failure. It can be used, along with other cardiac biomarker tests, to detect heart stress and damage and/or, along with other lung function tests, to distinguish between causes of shortness of breath. Higher than normal results suggest that a person has some degree of heart failure, and that the level of BNP in the blood is related to its severity. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Blood urea nitrogen is a normal waste product of protein metabolism. Because BUN is excreted by the kidneys, the clearance of this substance from blood is used to evaluate kidney function. BUN is a nonspecific test of kidney function since it can be elevated with dehydration and blood in the gastrointestinal tract. BUN can be lower than normal if the liver reduces production or urea nitrogen, which occurs with liver disease and malnutrition.

 

Calcium – Calcium in the blood plays an important role in nerve function and muscle contraction. The body maintains its blood calcium in a very narrow range. Elevations in blood calcium values can occur with bone and metabolic diseases and some medications and vitamins. Low calcium levels may be the result of metabolic or kidney diseases, as well as vitamin D deficiency and malabsorption of calcium from the intestine.

 

Cardiac Enzymes – A cardiac enzyme test is one way to assess of a person is currently experiencing or recently had a heart attack. It can also be used to check the functioning of the heart after coronary artery bypass graft surgery or angioplasty. (secondscount.org)

 

Chloride – Chloride is another electrolyte found in the blood. It is bound mainly to sodium and potassium in the form of salt, and plays a role in the functioning of the body’s cell membranes. The normal concentration of chloride is maintained within a narrow range, and alteration of chloride is rarely a primary problem. Your healthcare provider interprets the significance of low or high chloride values in relation to the levels of other electrolytes.

 

Cholesterol/HDL Ratio – This ratio represents total cholesterol divided by HDL value. The ratio is compared to those of participants in the Framingham Heart Study, a large research study dedicated to identifying the factors that contribute to development of coronary vascular disease (CVD). The higher this value, the higher the risk of developing CVD.

 

Cholesterol, total serum – Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is used by the body in the formation of cell membranes, bile acids, and hormones. The body sometimes produces more cholesterol than it needs. Excess cholesterol, either from dietary sources or because of increased production, can build up in arteries and cause heart disease. Measurement of blood cholesterol levels is used to evaluate and classify coronary heart disease.

 

Creatinine – Creatinine is a normal muscular breakdown product. It is cleared from the blood by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine can indicate kidney disease.

 

Digoxin Levels – A digoxin test is used to monitor the concentration of the drug Digoxin in the blood. The dosage prescribed may be adjusted depending on the level measured. Each patient’s response to medications is individual, and other factors, such as kidney function or concurrent medications, may be involved. If symptoms do not improve or the patient experiences side effects, then the health care provider may adjust the dosage. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Electrolyte Panel – The electrolyte panel is used to identify an electrolyte, fluid, or pH imbalance and is frequently ordered as part of a routine physical. It may be ordered as part of a basic metabolic panel or a comprehensive metabolic panel. The electrolyte panel typically includes tests for sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate. High or low electrolyte levels are generally affected by how much is consumed in the diet and absorbed by the body, the amount of water in a person’s body, and the amount eliminated by the kidneys. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Free T-3 – A free triiodothyronine test is used to assess thyroid function. It is ordered primarily to help diagnose hyperthyroidism and may be ordered to help monitor treatment of a patient with a known thyroid disorder. Increased or decreased thyroid hormone results indicate there is an imbalance between the body’s requirements and supply, but do not tell specifically what causes the excess or deficiency.

 

Free T-4 – Free thyroxine tests are used to help evaluate thyroid function and diagnose thyroid diseases, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, usually after discovering that the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level is abnormal. In general, high free T-4 results may indicate an overactive thyroid gland, or hyperthyroidism, and low free T-4 results may indicate an underactive thyroid gland, or hypothyroidism. The tests alone are not diagnostic, but will prompt the health practitioner to perform additional testing to investigate the cause of the excess deficiency. (labtestsonline.org)

 

  Gamma Glutamyltransferase (GGT) – GGT is an enzyme present in the liver. Elevations occur in all types of liver disease and with the consumption of alcohol and some medications. GGT is a very sensitive test, and many times can be elevated if one is overweight or has excess fat in the liver.  

 

Globulin – Globulin refers to another group of proteins found in the blood. Low globulin levels are found in individuals with certain kidney problems, intestinal disorders, and other rare diseases. Elevated globulin levels are found with certain immunological disorders and in chronic liver disease.      

 

Glucose - Glucose is a simple sugar that is formed from carbohydrate digestion. Glucose provides energy to cells. Glucose testing is primarily used in the monitoring, treatment, and prevention of diabetes.  

 

HDL Cholesterol – HDL is a component of total cholesterol. It is known as “good” cholesterol because it can help in the removal of cholesterol in the blood and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) from the arteries. The higher the HDL level the better. High levels of HDL are associated with lower risk of developing heart disease. Low levels of HDL are associated with higher risk for heart disease.

 

Hematocrit (HCT) – Red blood cells comprise, on average, 45 percent of the blood’s total volume. This percentage is called the hematocrit. Women generally have lower hematocrits than men. A low hematocrit signifies anemia.

 

Hemoglobin (HGB) – Hemoglobin is the actual oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. In iron-deficiency anemia, low blood iron levels means there is less available hemoglobin in the blood to deliver oxygen to your body’s tissues

 

Hepatitis Panel – A hepatitis panel is used to help detect and/or diagnose acute liver infection and inflammation that is due to one of the three most common hepatitis viruses: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), or hepatitis C virus (HCV). These tests are used to determine if symptoms are due to a current infection with a virus and to identify which virus in particular is causing the disease. These tests may also help determine if someone has been exposed to one of the viruses even before symptoms develop. (labtestsonline.org)

 

HIV – HIV antibody and HIV antigen testing is used to screen for and diagnose HIV infections. A negative test for HIV antigen and/or antibody usually indicates that a person does not have an HIV infection. HIV tests that detect only HIV antibody will not detect an HIV infection soon after exposure during the window period before the development of antibodies. Most people produce detectable levels of antibody 3-12 weeks after exposure. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Iron – Iron plays a critical role in the production of hemoglobin. When iron levels are low hemoglobin levels may drop, resulting in iron deficiency anemia. Increased iron in the blood may lead to excess iron storage in the body’s organs; a serious but treatable condition known as hemochromatosis.

 

Iron Study – Iron status may be evaluated by ordering one or more tests to determine the amount of circulating iron in the blood, the capacity of the blood to transport iron, and the amount of stored iron in tissues. Testing may also help differentiate various causes of anemia and may include:

            Serum iron – a measure of iron levels in the blood.

            Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) – a measure of all blood proteins available to bind

            with iron.

            Unsaturated iron-binding capacity (UIBC) – a measure of the reserve capacity of

            transferin, the primary iron-binding protein, specifically the portion of transferring that

            has not yet been saturated.

            Transferrin saturation – a calculation that is done with the iron test result and TIBC or

            UIBC. It represents the percentage of transferring that is saturated with iron.

            Serum ferritin – reflects the amount of stored iron in the body; ferritin is the main

            storage protein for iron inside of cells.

 

The mildest stage of iron deficiency is the slow depletion of iron stores. As iron deficiency continues, all of the stored iron is used and the body tries to compensate by producing more transferring to increase iron transport. The serum iron level continues to decrease and transferrin and TIBC increase. As this stage progresses, fewer and smaller red blood cells are produced, eventually resulting in iron deficiency anemia. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Keotones – Keotones appear in the urine when the body breaks down proteins. Urine keotones are associated with diabetes. Strenuous activity, fasting, or eating a low-carbohydrate diet can also cause keotones to appear in the urine.

 

  LDL Cholesterol – LDL cholesterol is another component of total cholesterol. It is the “bad” cholesterol associated with the development of plaques that thicken the walls of coronary arteries. High LDL levels are associated with a higher risk of heart disease.

 

Lithium – The lithium test is used to measure and monitor the amount of lithium, a drug used to treat certain psychiatric disorders, in the blood so heath care providers can determine whether drug concentrations are in the therapeutic range. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Lupus Panel – Lupus anticoagulant testing is a series of tests used to detect lupus anticoagulant (LA) in the blood. LA is an autoantibody associated with excess bleed clot formation. LA testing is ordered when a patient has had an unexplained blood clot in a vein or artery, when a woman experiences recurrent miscarriages, when a patient has signs or symptoms of Antiphospolipid Syndrome (a disorder in which the body’s immune system makes antibodies that mistakenly attack its own cells or tissues), or has a prolonged Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time test as part of an investigation of a possible bleeding disorder. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Mean Corpscular Hemoglobin (MCH) – MCH is the amount of hemoglobin in your average red blood cell. The MCH helps in the diagnosis of anemia.

 

Mean Corpscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) – MCHC is the ratio of the amount of hemoglobin to the volume of your average red blood cell. The value is helpful in monitoring therapy for anemia.

 

Mean Corpscular Volume (MCV) – MCV is the volume of your average red blood cell. In some types of anemia, the MCV is abnormally small, while in others it is abnormally large. Your MCV is the basis of classification used in the evaluation of anemia.

 

Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) – The PTT is used primarily to investigate unexplained bleeding or clotting. It may be ordered along with a PT test to evaluate hemostasis, the process that the body uses to form blood clots to help stop bleeding. A prolonged PTT means that clotting is taking longer to occur than normal and may be due to a variety of causes. Coagulation factor deficiencies may be acquired or inherited. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Percent saturation – This test reflects the percentage of iron in the blood that is bound to transferring, a carrier protein. Its measurement is helpful in the diagnosis and assessment of anemias and hemochromatosis.

 

pH – pH is a measurement of the acidity and alkalinity of urine. It is an important screening test for the diagnosis of kidney disease, as well as respiratory diseases and metabolic disorders.

 

Phenytoin – The phenytoin test is used to measure and monitor the amount of phenytoin in the blood and to determine whether drug concentrations are in the therapeutic range. It may be ordered every few days when a patient first begins taking phenytoin to help adjust the dose to the desired blood level. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Phosphorous – Like calcium, phosphorous is used primarily in the formation of teeth and bones. There are many causes of high or low phosphorous levels. Phosphorous levels are always evaluated in relation to calcium levels.

 

Platelet Count (PLT) – Platelets function to stop bleeding by sticking together and forming plugs. Low numbers of platelets will predispose an individual to excessive bleeding. A variety of conditions can cause low or elevated platelets. Higher platelet counts also occur in pregnancy and after strenuous exercise.

 

Potassium Serum/Plasma – Potassium is an electrolyte located primarily inside the cells of the body. It plays an important role in nerve and muscle function. Low blood potassium levels can occur after vomiting, diarrhea, in kidney disease, and after taking some medications. Elevated potassium levels may indicate kidney disease. Because potassium is contained within red blood cells, a breakdown of the cells at the time of drawing blood may result in a falsely elevated potassium result.

 

Progesterone – A progesterone test may be used to help recognize and manage some causes of infertility, to determine whether or not a woman has ovulated, when the ovulation occurred, or to monitor success of induced ovulation, to help diagnose an ectopic or failing pregnancy, to monitor a high-risk pregnancy, to help determine the effectiveness of progesterone replacement treatment, or to determine the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding in non-pregnant women. Interpretation of progesterone test results depends on the reason for testing, and requires knowledge of the point at which a woman is in her menstrual cycle. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Prostate specific AG (PSA) – PSA is a screening test for prostate cancer. Elevations in PSA are also associated with benign (non-cancerous) prostate enlargement, as well as prostate injury or infection.

 

Protein Total – The plasma proteins serve a number of functions including maintenance of normal blood volume and water content in the body’s tissues. Your health care provider will investigate values below or above normal range in order to determine which proteins are involved.

 

Prothrombin Time (PT) – The PT is used, often along with a partial thromboplastin time (PTT) to help diagnose the cause of unexplained bleeding or inappropriate blood clots. A prolonged PT means that the blood is taking too long to form a clot. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Protein Electrophoresis Immunofixation Electrophoresis (SPEP) – Protein electrophoresis is used to identify the presence of abnormal proteins, to identify the absence of normal proteins, and to determine when different groups of proteins are present in unusually high or low amounts in blood or other body fluids. Proteins do many things in the body, including the transport nutrients, remove toxins, control metabolic processes, and defend against invaders. Protein electrophoresis rests give a healthcare practitioner a rough estimate of how much of each protein fraction is present, and whether any abnormal proteins are present. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) – Red blood cells are the major component of blood. Their main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues, and to transfer carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs where it is purged from the body through breathing. A low blood cell count indicates anemia.

 

Sodium – Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a key role in the body’s fluid balance. Low sodium values occur when the body loses sodium or the ability to dilute urine, as occurs with diarrhea, kidney disease, and the use of some medications. High sodium values occur when the body loses excessive amounts of water. Sodium values are always evaluated in relation to other electrolyte values.

 

Triglycerides – Triglycerides are the major storage form of fat in the body and, as such, serve to provide energy to the body’s cells. High levels may be a result of failure to fast for at least 12 hours before the blood test. Persistently elevated triglyceride levels are associated with higher risk for heart disease.

 

TSH – TSH is the most sensitive test for evaluating the function of the thyroid gland. It helps identify either the underactive or overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid is responsible for metabolism regulation.

 

Uric Acid – The uric acid blood test is used to detect high levels of this compound in the bold in order to help diagnose gout. It is also used to monitor uric acid levels in people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer. Rapid cell turnover from such treatments can result in increased uric acid levels. People who have uric acid kidney stones or gout should avoid foods such as liver, kidneys, sardines, and anchovies. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Urinalysis – The urinalysis is a set of screening tests that can detect some common diseases. It may be used to screen for and/or help diagnose conditions such as urinary tract infections, kidney disorders, liver problems, diabetes, or other metabolic conditions. Abnormal findings are a warning that something may be wrong and should be evaluated further. Generally, the greater the concentration of the atypical substance, such as greatly increased amounts of glucose, protein, or red blood cells, the more likely it is that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Valproic Acid – The valproic acid test is used to measure and monitor the amount of valproic acid in the blood, and to determine whether the drug concentration is within the therapeutic range. In general, if a patient is not having recurrent seizures, mood swings, migraines, and is not experiencing significant side effects, the dosage is considered adequate. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Vitamin D – A vitamin D test is used to determine many bone anomalies, diagnose and monitor problems with parathyroid gland function, monitor individuals with diseases that interfere with fat absorption, monitor the vitamin D absorption of gastric bypass patients, and help determine the effectiveness of treatment when vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, and/or magnesium supplementation is prescribed. Vitamin D toxicity is rare, therefore most tests monitor deficiency. Low vitamin D levels may indicate a lack of exposure to sunlight, a deficiency in dietary vitamin D, intestinal absorption issues, or early stages of kidney failure. (labtestsonline.org)

 

White Blood Cell Count (WBC) – WBC elevations are seen in certain infections and injuries. A mild decrease in WBC frequently occurs in viral infections.

 

PANELS

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

White Blood Cell Count (WBC) – WBC elevations are seen in certain infections and injuries. A mild decrease in WBC frequently occurs in viral infections.

 

Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) – Red blood cells are the major component of blood. Their main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues, and to transfer carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs where it is purged from the body through breathing. A low blood cell count indicates anemia.

    

Hemoglobin (HGB) – Hemoglobin is the actual oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. In iron-deficiency anemia, low blood iron levels means there is less available hemoglobin in the blood to deliver oxygen to your body’s tissues

 

Hematocrit (HCT) – A low hematocrit signifies anemia. Red blood cells make up approximately 45 percent of the blood’s total volume. This percentage is called the hematocrit. Women generally have lower hematocrits than men.

 

Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) – The MCV is a measure of the average volume of a red blood cell. In patients with anemia, the MCV measurement determines if the anemia is below normal range, within normal range, or above normal range. (WK)

 

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH) – MCH is the average amount of hemoglobin per red blood cell in a blood sample. It is used to help diagnose the type, cause, and severity of anemia. (verywell)

 

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) – MCHC is the average concentration of hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is used to help diagnose the type, cause, and severity of anemia. (verywell)

 

RBC Distribution Width (RDW) - RDW is a calculation of red blood cell size variations.

 

Platelet Count (PLT) – Platelets function to stop bleeding by sticking together and forming plugs. Low numbers of platelets will predispose an individual to excessive bleeding. A variety of conditions can cause low or elevated platelets. Higher platelet counts also occur in pregnancy and after strenuous exercise.

 

Mean Platelet Volume (MPV) – MPV is a calculation of the average size of platelets. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Absolute Neutrophil count (ANC) – ANC is a measure of the number of neutrophils, a type of white blood cells that fights against infection.

 

Absolute Monocyte – A count of a type of white blood cell that functions in the ingestion of bacteria and other foreign particles. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Absolute Eosinophil – A count of a type of white blood cell that are believed to function in allergic responses, and in resisting some infections. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Absolute Basophil – A count of a type of white blood cell responsible for inflammatory reactions during immune response, and in the formation of acute and chronic allergic diseases such as asthma and hay fever.         

 

Basic Metabolic Panel (CHEM 8)

Glucose - Glucose is a simple sugar that is formed from carbohydrate digestion. Glucose provides energy to cells. Glucose testing is primarily used in the monitoring, treatment, and prevention of diabetes.

 

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Blood urea nitrogen is a normal waste product of protein metabolism. Because BUN is excreted by the kidneys, the clearance of this substance from blood is used to evaluate kidney function. BUN is a nonspecific test of kidney function since it can be elevated with dehydration and blood in the gastrointestinal tract. BUN can be lower than normal if the liver reduces production or urea nitrogen, which occurs with liver disease and malnutrition.

 

Creatinine – Creatinine is a normal muscular breakdown product. It is cleared from the blood by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine can indicate kidney disease.

 

Sodium – Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a key role in the body’s fluid balance. Low sodium values occur when the body loses sodium or the ability to dilute urine, as occurs with diarrhea, kidney disease, and the use of some medications. High sodium values occur when the body loses excessive amounts of water. Sodium values are always evaluated in relation to other electrolyte values.

 

Potassium Serum/Plasma – Another electrolyte, potassium is located primarily inside the cells of the body. It plays an important role in nerve and muscle function. Low blood potassium levels can occur after vomiting, diarrhea, in kidney disease, and after taking some medications. Elevated potassium levels may indicate kidney disease. Because potassium is contained within red blood cells, a breakdown of the cells at the time of drawing blood may result in a falsely elevated potassium result.

 

Chloride – Chloride is another electrolyte found in the blood. It is bound mainly to sodium and potassium in the form of salt, and plays a role in the functioning of the body’s cell membranes. The normal concentration of chloride is maintained within a narrow range, and alteration of chloride is rarely a primary problem. Your healthcare provider interprets the significance of low or high chloride values in relation to the levels of other electrolytes.

           

Bicarbonate – When bicarbonate levels are higher or lower than normal, it suggests that the body is having trouble maintaining its acid/base balance either by failing to remove carbon dioxide through the lungs or the kidneys, or possibly due to an electrolyte imbalance – particularly a deficiency of potassium. Some drugs, including fludrocortisones, barbiturates, bicarbonates, hydrocortisone, loop diuretics, and steroids, may increase bicarbonate levels. Other drugs, such as methicillin, nitrofurantoin, tetracycline, thiazide diuretics, and triamterene, may decrease bicarbonate levels. (labresultsonline.org)

 

Calcium – Calcium in the blood plays an important role in nerve function and muscle contraction. The body maintains its blood calcium in a very narrow range. Elevations in blood calcium values can occur with bone and metabolic diseases and some medications and vitamins. Low calcium levels may be the result of metabolic or kidney diseases, as well as vitamin D deficiency and malabsorption of calcium from the intestine.

 

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CHEM 14)

Glucose – Glucose is a simple sugar that is formed from carbohydrate digestion. Glucose provides energy to cells. Glucose testing is primarily used in the monitoring, treatment, and prevention of diabetes.

 

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Blood urea nitrogen is a normal waste product of protein metabolism. Because BUN is excreted by the kidneys, the clearance of this substance from blood is used to evaluate kidney function. BUN is a nonspecific test of kidney function since it can be elevated with dehydration and blood in the gastrointestinal tract. BUN can be lower than normal if the liver reduces production or urea nitrogen, which occurs with liver disease and malnutrition.

 

Creatinine – Creatinine is a normal muscular breakdown product. It is cleared from the blood by the kidneys. Elevated creatinine can indicate kidney disease.

 

Sodium – Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a key role in the body’s fluid balance. Low sodium values occur when the body loses sodium or the ability to dilute urine, as occurs with diarrhea, kidney disease, and the use of some medications. High sodium values occur when the body loses excessive amounts of water. Sodium values are always evaluated in relation to other electrolyte values.

 

Potassium Serum/Plasma – Another electrolyte, potassium is located primarily inside the cells of the body. It plays an important role in nerve and muscle function. Low blood potassium levels can occur after vomiting, diarrhea, in kidney disease, and after taking some medications. Elevated potassium levels may indicate kidney disease. Because potassium is contained within red blood cells, a breakdown of the cells at the time of drawing blood may result in a falsely elevated potassium result.

 

Chloride – Chloride is another electrolyte found in the blood. It is bound mainly to sodium and potassium in the form of salt, and plays a role in the functioning of the body’s cell membranes. The normal concentration of chloride is maintained within a narrow range, and alteration of chloride is rarely a primary problem. Your healthcare provider interprets the significance of low or high chloride values in relation to the levels of other electrolytes.

 

Bicarbonate – When bicarbonate levels are higher or lower than normal, it suggests that the body is having trouble maintaining its acid/base balance either by failing to remove carbon dioxide through the lungs or the kidneys, or possibly due to an electrolyte imbalance – particularly a deficiency of potassium. Some drugs, including fludrocortisones, barbiturates, bicarbonates, hydrocortisone, loop diuretics, and steroids, may increase bicarbonate levels. Other drugs, such as methicillin, nitrofurantoin, tetracycline, thiazide diuretics, and triamterene, may decrease bicarbonate levels. (labresultsonline.org)

 

Calcium – Calcium in the blood plays an important role in nerve function and muscle contraction. The body maintains its blood calcium in a very narrow range. Elevations in blood calcium values can occur with bone and metabolic diseases and some medications and vitamins. Low calcium levels may be the result of metabolic or kidney diseases, as well as vitamin D deficiency and malabsorption of calcium from the intestine.

 

Aspartate Transaminase (AST) – The blood test for AST, along with Alanine Transaminase (ALT), is usually used to detect liver damage. Normally, blood AST levels are low. Very high levels of AST – more than 10 times above normal – are usually due to acute hepatitis. In rare instances, some drugs can damage the liver or muscle, increasing AST levels. This is true of both prescription drugs and some “natural” health products. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Alanine Transaminase (ALT) - The blood test for ALT, along with Aspartate Transaminase (ALT), is usually used to detect liver damage. A low level of ALT in the blood is expected and normal. Liver disease is the most common reason for elevated ALT. In rare instances, some drugs can damage the liver or muscle, increasing AST levels. This is true of both prescription drugs and some “natural” health products.  (labtestsonline.org)

 

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) - The ALP test is used to detect liver disease or bone disorders. High ALP usually means that either the liver has been damaged or a condition causing increased bone cell activity is present. Pregnancy can increase ALP levels. Temporary elevations are also seen with healing fractures. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Bilirubin Total – A bilirubin test is used to detect an increased level in the blood. It may be used to help determine the cause of jaundice and/or help diagnose conditions such as liver disease, hemolytic anemia, and blockage of the bile ducts. Bilirubin concentrations tend to be slightly higher in males than in females. African Americans routinely show lower bilirubin concentrations than non-African Americans. Strenuous exercise may increase bilirubin levels.

 

Albumin – Albumin is the major protein found in blood and is a good reflection of one’s nutritional status. Low levels occur in malnutrition and some chronic diseases. Dehydration can cause increased albumin levels.

 

Protein Total – The plasma proteins serve a number of functions including maintenance of normal blood volume and water content in the body’s tissues. Your health care provider will investigate values below or above normal range in order to determine which proteins are involved.

 

Phosphorous – Like calcium, phosphorous is used primarily in the formation of teeth and bones. There are many causes of high or low phosphorous levels. Phosphorous levels are always evaluated in relation to calcium levels.

 

Uric Acid – The uric acid blood test is used to detect high levels of this compound in the bold in order to help diagnose gout. It is also used to monitor uric acid levels in people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer. Rapid cell turnover from such treatments can result in increased uric acid levels. People who have uric acid kidney stones or gout should avoid foods such as liver, kidneys, sardines, and anchovies. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Lipid Group

Cholesterol, total serum – Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is used by the body in the formation of cell membranes, bile acids, and hormones. The body sometimes produces more cholesterol than it needs. Excess cholesterol, either from dietary sources or because of increased production, can build up in arteries and cause heart disease. Measurement of blood cholesterol levels is used to evaluate and classify coronary heart disease.

 

Triglycerides – Triglycerides are the major storage form of fat in the body and, as such, serve to provide energy to the body’s cells. High levels may be a result of failure to fast for at least 12 hours before the blood test. Persistently elevated triglyceride levels are associated with higher risk for heart disease.

 

HDL Cholesterol – HDL is a component of total cholesterol. It is known as “good” cholesterol because it can help in the removal of cholesterol in the blood and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) from the arteries. The higher the HDL level the better. High levels of HDL are associated with lower risk of developing heart disease. Low levels of HDL are associated with higher risk for heart disease.

 

LDL Cholesterol – LDL cholesterol is another component of total cholesterol. It is the “bad” cholesterol associated with the development of plaques that thicken the walls of coronary arteries. High LDL levels are associated with a higher risk of heart disease.

 

Bilirubin Direct - A bilirubin test is used to detect an increased level in the blood. It may be used to help determine the cause of jaundice and/or help diagnose conditions such as liver disease, hemolytic anemia, and blockage of the bile ducts. Bilirubin concentrations tend to be slightly higher in males than in females. African Americans routinely show lower bilirubin concentrations than non-African Americans. Strenuous exercise may increase bilirubin levels. (labtestsonline.org)

 

Bilirubin Total – Bilirubin is a yellow-colored substance that is released into the blood with the normal breakdown of red blood cells. The liver removes most bilirubin from the blood and excretes it into the intestines. Elevations in blood bilirubin levels are most often are of little significance and represent a slow metabolism of bile by the liver, and a slight hang-up in the blood. Elevated bilirubin levels can occur with liver or gallbladder disease.

 

Protein Total – The plasma proteins serve a number of functions including maintenance of normal blood volume and water content in the body’s tissues. Your health care provider will investigate values below or above normal range in order to determine which proteins are involved.

 

Hepatic Function Panel (LIVER PNL)

Alanine Transaminase (ALT) - The blood test for ALT, along with Aspartate Transaminase (ALT), is usually used to detect liver damage. A low level of ALT in the blood is expected and normal. Liver disease is the most common reason for elevated ALT. In rare instances, some drugs can damage the liver or muscle, increasing AST levels. This is true of both prescription drugs and some “natural” health products.  (labtestsonline.org)

 

Albumin – Albumin is the major protein found in blood and is a good reflection of one’s nutritional status. Low levels occur in malnutrition and some chronic diseases. Dehydration can cause increased albumin levels.

 

  Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) - The ALP test is used to detect liver disease or bone disorders. High ALP usually means that either the liver has been damaged or a condition causing increased bone cell activity is present. Pregnancy can increase ALP levels. Temporary elevations are also seen with healing fractures. (labtestsonline.org)

             

Aspartate Transaminase (AST) – The blood test for AST, along with Alanine Transaminase (ALT), is usually used to detect liver damage. Normally, blood AST levels are low. Very high levels of AST – more than 10 times above normal – are usually due to acute hepatitis. In rare instances, some drugs can damage the liver or muscle, increasing AST levels. This is true of both prescription drugs and some “natural” health products. (labtestsonline.org)