Interpretation of Lab Tests
Lab test profiles are designed to screen for disease in as many systems of the body as possible. Early detection of disease conditions will give you the opportunity of disease prevention. Curative treatment can be instituted and many diseases can be treated early and complications can be prevented. From these screening tests we will determine if further tests are necessary and so saving you the costs of unnecessary investigations.
Reference Ranges (Normal Ranges)
Because reference ranges are typically defined as the range of values of the median 95% of the healthy population, it is unlikely that a given specimen, even from a healthy patient, will show “normal” values for all the tests in a lengthy profile. Therefore, caution should be exercised to prevent over-reaction to miscellaneous, mild abnormalities without clinical correlate.
This is a test for obesity, hypertension and heart disease. Elevated cholesterol levels may lead to deposits of fat in the blood vessel resulting in narrowing and subsequent blockage of the blood vessel.
HDL (good cholesterol) helps remove cholesterol from the blood and transport it to the liver for excretion.
LDL (bad cholesterol) helps deposit cholesterol in the blood vessel which leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Total Cholesterol / HDL Cholesterol Ratio
This ratio is used to assess risk, with lower values indicating lower risk.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the fat tissue. Elevated levels of triglycerides may lead to coronary heart disease.
hs-CRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein)
C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein and a marker for inflammation which is now believed to play a role in the initiation and progression of cardiovascular disease. hs-CRP has proven to be a powerful predictor of heart disease risk.
Elevated levels of fasting glucose (blood sugar) may indicate diabetes mellitus.
HBA1C (Glycated Hb)
Measures the amount of glycated haemoglobin (glucose + haemoglobin) in the red blood cell. It indicates the blood sugar control over the last 3 months.
Blood urea is the end product of protein metabolism. Elevated levels of blood urea are seen in persons with kidney disease.
Like blood urea, elevated levels of creatinine are seen in persons with kidney disease.
Sodium, Potassium and Chloride
Abnormal levels are seen in individuals with kidney disorders, hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart disease.
Low levels of calcium are usually associated with poor dietary intake. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth.
High levels of uric acid can lead to gout, urinary stones, and kidney disease.
Total Protein, Albumin, Globulin
Elevated levels of total protein are seen in dehydration, some cases of chronic liver disease including hepatitis, myeloma and instances of chronic infection and inflammation. Albumin and globulin are forms of protein and are part of the total protein.
High levels of total bilirubin are seen in individuals with liver disease and haemolytic anaemia. They usually have jaundice.
Elevated levels of alkaline phosphatase are seen in individuals with liver or bone disorders and in rapidly growing children.
AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase)
Also known as serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT). Elevated levels are often seen in acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and hepatitis.
ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase)
Also known as serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT). ALT is an enzyme present in the liver. Elevated levels indicate destruction of liver cells and are usually seen in disorders of the liver.
Haemoglobin (Hb) is essential for the transport of oxygen to body tissue. A low Hb may indicate that an individual is anaemic. The haematocrit (HCT) represents the percent of RBCs compared to the liquid portion of your blood.
White Blood Cells & Differential Count
White Blood Cells (WBC) help your body fight infection and removes debris. There are different types of WBC: neutrophils fight against bacteria infection; lymphocytes fight viral infection; eosinophils can indicate allergic condition or a parasitic infection; monocytes act as scavengers to remove debris and basophils also indicate an allergic condition. The differential count indicates the distribution of different types of WBC.
Red Blood Cell Indices
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin (MCH) and Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) are values that refer to the volume of red blood cells and the haemoglobin content of the blood. These tests are used by your doctor to help differentiate Red Blood Cell abnormalities.
This is a test for bleeding disorder.
ESR (Erythrocytes Sedimentation Rate)
Indicates inflammation and is increased in rheumatoid diseases, most infections, and in cancer.
HBsAg (Hepatitis B surface Antigen)
HBsAg is present in individuals with active hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is a life-threatening disease and very contagious.
HBsAb (Hepatitis B surface Antibodies)
A person who recovers completely from Hepatitis B infection or one who has been successfully immunized against hepatitis B will have the antibodies for HBsAg.
HCV Ab (Hepatitis C Antibodies)
HCV antibodies indicate exposure to the virus, but not the presences of ongoing infection. Hence, molecular testing is done to determine whether current infection is present.
Blood Group & Rhesus Type
There are four major blood groups, A, B, AB and O. These major blood groups can be either Rhesus (Rh) negative or positive.
RPR (Rapid Plasma Reagin)
Also known as VDRL test (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory). RPR is a very sensitive test used to screen for syphilis. A positive result does not necessarily indicate syphilis, because the test is set to detect abnormality at very low levels. There is some chance of a false-positive result.
Measurements of tumour marker levels can be useful – when used along with x-rays or other tests – in the detection and diagnosis of some types of cancer. However, measurements of tumour marker levels alone are not sufficient to diagnose cancer.
AFP – Liver cancer
CEA – Colorectal cancer
CA 15-3 – Breast cancer
CA 125 – Ovarian cancer
CA 19-9 – Pancreatic, stomach and bile duct cancer
Total PSA – Prostate cancer
Not all blood tests that appear to be abnormal put your health at risk. Only a trained doctor can properly interpret your blood tests. A blood test is only one of many tools a doctor uses to evaluate your health. If you have any questions or concerns about any of your blood tests you should contact your doctor.