Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic Procedures

Diagnostic Procedures
Allergy tests, echocardiograms, biopsies, semen analysis and spinal taps are just a few of the medical diagnostic procedures that are performed on patients diagnose diseases and conditions. These classification procedures do not involve x-ray imaging or a surgical procedure, but, involve taking measurements and samples of fluids, tissues and cells. Learn more about diagnostic procedures from our experts.

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    An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures and records the electrical activity of the brain. Certain conditions, such as epilepsy, can be detected based on changes in the normal pattern of the brain's electrical activity.
     

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    If your flexible sigmoidoscopy shows an abnormality, and your doctor sees an area that needs further evaluation, he or she might take a biopsy (tissue sample) to be analyzed. Obtaining a biopsy does not cause pain or discomfort. Biopsies are used to identify many conditions, and your doctor might order one even if he or she doesn't suspect cancer.
     
    If your doctor finds polyps, he or she might take a biopsy of them as well. Polyps, which are growths from the lining of the colon, vary in size and types. Polyps known as "hyperplastic" might not require removal, but other benign polyps known as "adenomas" have a small risk of becoming cancerous. Your doctor will likely ask you to have a colonoscopy (a complete examination of the colon) to remove any large polyps or any small adenomas.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Candin is an antigenic substance used as a skin test to determine a person's level of immune system function. It is injected under the skin to see if the expected reaction occurs. The positive reaction essentially proves that the immune system is working. Candin is the brand name of the testing substance, which contains small amounts of the organism, candida albicans, to which most everyone will respond. The product is available by prescription only and will only be administered by a professional, in a clinical setting, for the purposes of such a test. This test is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    Ferulic acid derivatives include gamma-oryzanol, a growth-promoting substance found in grains and isolated from rice bran oil. Gamma-oryzanol has been used in Japan as a medicine since 1962. Initially, it was used in the treatment of minor anxiety, and later it became approved for the treatment of menopausal symptoms (1970) and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels (1986). Gamma-oryzanol was first shown to be effective for menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, in the early 1960s. Clinical studies demonstrated that 67 to 85 percent of the women who took gamma-oryzanol had a 50 percent or greater reduction in their menopausal symptoms.

    Gamma-oryzanol has been shown to be quite effective in lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in several double-blind studies, lowering the total cholesterol level by 8 to 12 percent and the level of triglycerides by 15 percent within the first four weeks. Gamma-oryzanol's cholesterol-lowering action appears to involve a combination of effects in that it increases the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids and inhibits the absorption of cholesterol. Double-blind studies have also shown supplemental gamma-oryzanol to increase lean body mass, increase strength, improve recovery from workouts, and reduce body fat and post-exercise soreness.

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    A , Administration, answered

    Statistics about health can be confusing because risk can be measured in different ways. Risk indicates whether a treatment or behavior (an exposure) is associated with the likelihood of developing a disease or condition (an outcome).

    Relative risk is an indicator of the strength of the association between exposure and outcome. It is used to assess the importance of a particular factor or treatment in the development of a disease or condition. Relative risk is often expressed as a percentage.

    Absolute risk describes the effect of an exposure on an outcome in the general population (as opposed to comparing specific groups).

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    A Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular), answered on behalf of
    Your doctor may ask the following questions when reviewing your loss history:
    • Have you lost any parents or children?
    • Have you lost a wife or husband?
    • Have you lost some good friends?
    • Have you lost pets?
    • When did these losses occur?
    • How did you deal with these losses?
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    To take a medical history, your healthcare providers simply talk to you. Usually they'll start by reviewing your medical chart and any previous health problems with you. Then they'll ask you more specifically about your current symptoms, family history, and lifestyle.

    Questions may include:

    • What symptoms do you have?
    • Do you have any discomfort?
    • Where do you have discomfort?
    • How often do you have discomfort? During what activities?
    • What relieves your discomfort?
    • What other symptoms happen when you feel discomfort?
    • Has anyone in your family ever had heart problems?
    • Do you smoke?
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    Angiography helps your ophthalmologist see what is happening in your retina or choroid, highlighting any abnormalities that may be present. It is used most often to:

    • Help diagnose and monitor eye conditions, including macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions and macular edema;
    • Guide laser surgery with pinpoint accuracy;
    • Monitor the effect of laser surgery.
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    Retinal angiography performed as follows: 
    1. Special eyedrops are put into your eye to make your pupil dilate (widen).
    2. Your ophthalmologist or an assistant will insert a small needle into a vein in your arm and inject the dye.
    3. As the dye passes through the blood vessels in the retina and choroid, a special camera will take a series of photographs that will later be reviewed by your ophthalmologist. The entire procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
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    Transthoracic needle aspiration (TTNA) is a diagnostic procedure that is done to determine the cause of an abnormality on the lung. The abnormality may have been detected initially on a chest x-ray or another type of imaging scan.

    You may be given a sedative just before the procedure. To perform TTNA, your doctor will first clean the skin in your chest area and inject a local anesthetic before inserting a long needle into the chest wall, between your ribs, to take a sample of lung tissue for a biopsy. The doctor may use ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) to guide the needle directly to the area of the lung where the abnormality was detected. The tissue sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. A followup X-ray is done within a few hours to make sure there are no complications from the procedure.

    TTNA is usually performed to rule out cancer, but can also be helpful in diagnosing some lung infections caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi.