Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Blood Tests - Types Results & Meaning

Blood Test Results

Blood test results ought to always be interpreted by professionals in the medical field. However, it's also a good thing to have background knowledge of blood tests. A blood test is that test requested by a doctor to be able to make the diagnosis. To carry out a blood test, qualified health care professionals extract a blood sample inside a vein, usually in the arm, with the use of a syringe. A typical blood test checks electrolytes in your body and could also examine complete blood count, blood glucose level, and liver enzyme levels.  

Why would you get a blood test?:

  • Find the cause of symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, weakness, fever, or bruising.
  • See how much blood has been lost if there is bleeding.
  • Diagnose polycythemia.
  • DNA testing to see if you have inherited a condition or if there is a gene mutation.
  • Find an infection.
  • Diagnose diseases of the blood, such as leukemia.
  • To check if there's any kind of damage to any of the internal organs within your body.
  • To check your blood type.
  • Find anemia.
  • To measure levels of a range of various chemicals, such as enzymes, electrolytes or oxygen as well as carbon dioxide in your blood.
  • Check how the body is dealing with some types of drug or radiation treatment.
  • Check how abnormal bleeding affects the blood cells and counts.
  • To determine the levels of your cholesterol.
  • Screen for high and low values prior to surgery.
  • Find out if there are too many or not enough of certain types of cells. This might help discover other conditions, such as too many eosinophils may mean an allergy or perhaps asthma is present.

Types of Blood Tests

Some of the most common blood tests are:
Each test is outlined below. For more tests visit our Blood Tests categories

  • A complete blood count (CBC)
  • Blood chemistry tests
  • Blood enzyme tests
  • Blood tests to measure heart disease risk and cardiac risk
  • Thyroid function test
  • Blood tests to measure hormone levels

Complete Blood Count Test

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) blood test examines white blood cells (WBC), red blood cells (RBC) and platelets. It will likewise look for hemoglobin levels and hematocrit. A low (RBC) count is likely to suggest that you have anemia. The (RBC) count is going to be abnormally high for those who have fluid loss in the body because of diarrhea, dehydration, or burn. An extremely high (WBC) count shows the existence of infection. The (CBC) examination procedures numerous elements of your blood, as mentioned in this posting below.

Complete Blood Count
Complete Blood Count
Complete Blood Count

  • White Blood Cell (WBC): The total count of white blood cells per volume of complete blood. Irregular levels may suggest an infection, particular sorts of the leukemia disease, or even bone marrow diseases.
  • Red Blood Cell (RBC): The total count of red blood cells per volume of complete blood. Irregular red blood cell levels can be a manifestation of anemia, dehydration or possibly blood loss.
  • Hemoglobin (Hgb): Hemoglobin is the quantity of oxygen transporting protein contained within the red blood cells. Irregular levels may suggest anemia, red blood cell dysfunction, or even vitamin deficiencies.
  • Hematocrit (Hct): Hematocrit is the area of the blood volume populated by red blood cells. Irregular levels would suggest anemia, bone marrow breakdown, as well as certain types of cancers.
  • Platelet (thrombocytes) count: Very clear cell fragments which can be produced from fragmentation of precursor megakaryocytes. When the volume of platelets is not high enough, extreme blood loss could happen, in the event the volume of platelets is too high, blood clots can build thrombosis which can eventuate into a stroke, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism or the congestion of blood vessels.
  • Mean platelet volume (MPV): is an apparatus that measures typically the average dimensions of platelets seen in blood, and is also commonly a part of blood tests contained in the (CBC) complete blood count. (MPV) is greater should there be devastation to platelets. This might be viewed as in immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), as well as in myeloproliferative diseases and Bernard-Soulier syndrome.
  • Iron: Iron works together with protein to produce the hemoglobin within red blood cells, which carries oxygen to all the areas of the body. Levels evaluate numerous conditions for instance iron deficient, anemia as well as hemochromatosis.

Complete Blood Count Chart

The complete blood count chart beneath demonstrates many normal ranges for various elements of the complete blood count (CBC). Many of the normal ranges vary for males and females. Other elements, including age group as well as ethnic background, may also impact normal ranges.Your physician ought to go over your outcomes together with you. The doctor will consult you further should your results are not in the normal range for your group.

The table below shows some normal ranges for different parts of the complete blood count (CBC).
Some of the normal ranges are different for men and women. Other factors, such as age and race, also may affect normal ranges. Your doctor should discuss your results with you. He or she will advise you further if your results are outside the normal range for your group.

(CBC) Reference Chart
CBC Chart
CBC Chart

Blood Chemistry Tests/Basic Metabolic Panel

The basic metabolic panel (BMP) is known as a category of lab tests which measures various chemical compounds within the blood. The (BMP) consists of blood glucose, hemoglobin, calcium, as well as electrolyte checks, in addition to blood tests which determine kidney functionality.

Blood Chemistry Test
Blood Chemistry Test
Blood Chemistry Test

Blood Glucose

Tests for blood glucose is carried out to see if one has diabetes. Hypoglycemia is that condition in which a person has low degree of glucose and the symptoms include dizziness, weakness, fainting, as well as collapsing.

Blood Glucose Levels

This is a measure of the particular sugar level in your blood. Higher values are usually associated with consuming food prior to the test, as well as a symptom of diabetes.
  • The normal range with regard to fasting glucose is 60 -99 mg/dl
  • Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) is definded by blood glucose levels of 100 - 125
  • Diabetes is diagnosed when your plasma glucose levels happen to be of 126 or more

Blood Glucose Chart
Blood Glucose Chart
Blood Glucose Chart


Glycohemoglobin (Hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c) measures the volume of glucose chemically linked to your red blood cells. A high level indicates poor diabetes control.


Calcium is manipulated within the bloodstream by the parathyroid glands and also the kidneys. Calcium can be found mainly inside bone tissue which is very important for proper blood clotting, cell activity as well as nerves. An elevated calcium could be because of prescription drugs like thiazide type diuretics, inherited disorders associated with calcium controlled in the kidneys, or even excessive parathyroid gland activity or vitamin D.


5 electrolytes which are examined in any blood test include:
  • potassium
  • sodium
  • calcium
  • chloride
  • bicarbonate
Sodium plays a vital role to maintain fluid balance within your body. You might have low sodium concentration if you are taking diuretics, have kidney disease, or going through diarrhea. A rise in the level of potassium could indicate a kidney problem. An abnormal level of potassium can also be a sign of heart problems. An abnormally low or higher level of bicarbonate is like to indicate kidney problems and the lungs.

Enzyme Tests

Enzymes are chemicals that assist control chemical reactions inside your body. There are several blood enzyme tests.These blood enzyme test include Creatine Kinase (CK) or Protein Electrophoresis both Enzymes are used to check for heart attacks.



The below abbreviations for proteins called enzymes that assist every one of the chemical activities inside body cells to occur.
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST)
  • Alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • Glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT)
  • Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT)
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)
Liver enzyme testing helps you to monitor the health of the liver. High amounts of both Glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) mean liver cells which are damaged, as is the case with people with viral hepatitis. Below is a enzyme reference chart.

Enzyme Reference Chart
Enzyme Chart
Enzyme Chart

Creatine Kinase

Creatine Kinase (CK), also recognized as creatine phosphokinase (CPK) or phospho-creatine kinase is a blood product released once the heart muscle is damaged. High levels of (CK) within the blood often means that you've experienced a heart attack.

Protein Electrophores

Protein electrophoresis is also known as Immunoelectrophoresis which is a procedure for examining a mixture of proteins by using gel electrophoresis, primarily in blood serum, the two main classes associated with blood proteins are Serum Albumin and Globulin, both of them are reletively equal in proportion.

Blood Urea Nitrogen

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) is a test to measure the amount of nitrogen within the blood in the form of urea nitrogen and a measurement of renal function. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) is a waste product produced in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Normal adult blood should comprise among 7 to 21 mg of urea nitrogen per 100 ml (7-21 mg/dL) of blood

Cardiac Risk Markers

C-reactive protein (CRP) test

A (CRP) blood test result is an indication of inflammation somewhere in the body. But the problem is that the (CRP) test will not be able to indicate the part of the body where the inflammation is present. Inflammation is notable role in heart problems like of coronary artery disease, by which fatty deposits clog the arteries. Determining (CRP) alone will not inform your physician of any heart problem but combining it with other blood test results will greatly help in giving an idea of the health of the heart.

Blood Lipids

Blood lipids or blood fats are lipids in the blood. They sometimes attach themself to molecules and mostly transported in a protein capsule. Blood lipids are mainly cholesterol and fatty acids. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the blood which, if elevated will cause Hyperlipidemia and has been associated with cardiovascular disease.

Lipoprotein Panel

The below table exhibits ranges with regard to total cholesterol, Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) ("bad") cholesterol, as well as High-density lipoprotein (HDL) ("good") cholesterol levels following 7 to 12 hours of fasting. High blood cholestrerol levels is really a danger factor with regard to coronary heart disease.

Total Cholesterol Chart

Total Cholesterol Chart
Total Cholesterol Chart

LDL Cholesterol Chart
LDL Cholesterol Chart
LDL Cholesterol Chart

HDL Cholesterol Chart
HDL Cholesterol Chart
HDL Cholesterol Chart

Thyroid Function Test


The thyroid’s job is to make thyroid hormone, which is secreted into the blood and then carried to
every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormone is essential to help each cell in each tissue and organ to work right. For example, thyroid hormone helps the body use energy, stay warm, and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.

Thyroid function test, there's 2 types of thyroid hormones simply measurable within the blood, thyroxine (T4) as well as triiodothyronine (T3). Generally the majority of diseases impact both (T4) and (T3) equally. It's much easier and cheaper to measure the (T4) level, therefore (T3) is generally not really measured.

Hormones Balance Test

Take the hormone balance test to determine if you are suffering from an in-balance of hormones. There are various symptoms for both men and woman. Below are the fundamentals of each hormone.
  • Insulin - is a hormone fundamental to controlling carbohydrate and fat metabolism within the body. Insulin will cause cells within the liver organ, muscle, as well as excess fat tissue to take up glucose through the blood saving it as glycogen within the liver along with muscle.
  • C-peptide - This serves as a significant linker amongst the A- and also the B- chains of insulin and also allows for the successful construction, folding, as well as processing of insulin within the endoplasmic reticulum.
  • Testosterone - It is a male sex hormone, nevertheless both males and females currently have detectable testosterone levels. In males the major supply is in the testicles, in females the ovaries. Like thyroid hormone, this hormone can also be transported through proteins, for instance Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG).
  • Estradiol - Is a sex hormone. Estradiol is abbreviated as E2 because it provides 2 hydroxyl groupings in the molecular structure. Estrone provides 1 (E1) and estriol has 3 (E3). Estradiol is approximately 10 times as potent as estrone and around 80 times as potent as estriol in its estrogenic effect.

CEA Blood Test

What is Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)

Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is a glycoprotein involved in cell adhesion which health experts use to monitor cancer treatment. CEA is produced during fetal development and is not seen in the blood of healthy adult individuals but is present in individuals with lung carcinoma, breast carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, thyroid carcinoma and colorectal carcinoma.


ALT Blood Test

What is the Alanine Aminotransferase Test (ALT)

An Alanine transaminase (ALT) or serum Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) or alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) blood test will measure the amount of enzymes that are in your blood. This test takes place most commonly in the liver and in a part of the kidney, cardiovascular system, muscles as well as pancreas. This test is often ordered in conjunction with a liver panel or liver function test to acknowledge whether or not the liver is diseased or damaged. Low levels are found in the blood but when the liver gets damaged then the test result number will increase. The higher the number the more damaged the liver is, and this test is most often done with other tests, such as the aspartate aminotransferase or aspartate transaminase (AST) test.

ALT Blood Test
ALT Blood Test

CA 125 Blood Test

What is CA 125?

CA 125 or (cancer antigen 125 or carbohydrate antigen 125) is also known as MUC16 or mucin 16. MUC16 is part of the mucin family glycoproteins and can detect ovarian cancer by performing a CA 125 blood test. CA 125 antigens are proteins which are present on the surface of ovarian cancer cells which show their presence in the blood stream after release from the cell. The test is to measure antigen count in the blood stream. Other conditions that raise the levels of CA 125 antigens are cirrhosis of the liver, types of cancer, endometriosis and pelvic inflammation. Change in blood levels can also be during menstruation and pregnancy.

CA 125 Blood Test
CA 125 Blood

RDW Blood Test

What is Red blood cell distribution width (RDW)

The RDW blood test is a quantitative analysis of variance in red blood cells (RBC) width where RDW stands for red blood cell distribution width or RCDW. It is also apart of the complete blood count (CBC) test. If the test shows high results, it implies that the person may be suffering from iron deficiency or may be having anemia. RDW test results are mostly used along with the mean corpuscular volume (MCV) to determine if one is suffering from anemia. The red blood cells size are in the range of 6-8μm for a normal person. Any variation in this suggests that the person is suffering from disorders. The normal range for RDW results is 11 to 15%, variations from this implies that there is something wrong. When the results suggest anemia, on conducting further investigation the exact cause can be found. In such scenarios, the practitioner suggests corpuscular volume test.

RDW Blood Test
RDW Blood Test

Fasting Blood Test

Fasting For A Blood Test

For some blood tests, patients should not consume any food or drink, as these tests are extremely sensitive to any food consumption. Depending on the test, it may require patients to fast 10 hours to 14 hours. One can have water during fasting, for some tests even black coffee and tea can be taken. If the patient is on a medication, he can continue to do so for most of the tests, but for some tests, he should not have them, so it is always a smart idea to consult a physician or the laboratory.

Fasting Blood Test
Fasting Blood Test

MCV Blood Test

What is Mean corpuscular volume (MCV)

MCV, which stands for, mean corpuscular volume or mean cell volume, is an analysis of red blood cell volume (RBC). This test is commonly a part of the complete blood count test (CBC) or can be taken independent of the complete blood count test. Doctors recommend the MCV test to patients who they suspect to have anemia, thalassemia, vitamin B12 deficiency and iron deficiency or who suffer from them. This test is essential for patients having normal hemoglobin content but still suffer from anemia.

MCV Blood Test
MCV Blood Test

ESR Blood Test    

What is Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

ESR or Erythrocyte sedimentation rate is the rate at which erythrocyte settles after an intensive centrifugation for an hour. This test determines body inflammation, though it cannot predict the reasons for it. Reasons for an increased sedimentation rate are anemia, rheumatic fever, thyroid malfunctioning, kidney disease, arthritis and pregnancy. In short, any condition which causes an inflammation, gives positive ESR test. While these show an increase in the rate, sickle cell anemia or spheroids.

ESR Test
ESR Test

CRP Blood Test    

What is C-reactive protein (CRP)

(CRP) or C-reactive protein is an acute-phase protein found in the blood which rises in reaction with inflammation to treat forms of arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune diseases to measure how active the inflammation levels are and to healthy monitor the treatment. The physical role is to bind phosphocholine to dead or dying cells and thus enabling dead cells replacement to activate the complement system via the C1Q complex. CRP is fused by the liver and belongs to the family of pentraxin proteins.