Lab Tests

Lab Tests

Lab Tests

Lab tests are performed to check the health of a patient. Blood, urine and other substances are performed to diagnose, treat or prevent the onset of conditions and diseases.

Recently Answered

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    A Jack Merendino, MD, Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered
    A sickle cell solubility test is a quick test to screen for sickle cell disease or sickle trait. “Solubility” means how well a particular substance can dissolve in a liquid. In this case the substance is the hemoglobin molecule, the major protein in red blood cells, and the liquid is blood plasma.

    The test is done as follows: Blood is drawn into a tube that prevents the blood from clotting. Sodium dithionite or a similar chemical is then added to the blood. The sodium dithionite makes the red blood cells “lyse” or break open, releasing the hemoglobin from inside the red blood cells into the blood plasma. Normal hemoglobin, termed “hemoglobin A” dissolves easily in the blood plasma, and the plasma will remain clear, though it will take on a red color. The hemoglobin from a person with sickle cell disease is called “hemoglobin S.” Hemoglobin S does not dissolve easily in blood plasma, and after the sodium dithionite is added the plasma will become cloudy because the hemoglobin S is actually forming small crystals. A person with sickle trait will have both hemoglobin A and hemoglobin S. He or she will have some clouding, but less than with full-blown sickle disease.

    If a person has a positive sickle cell solubility, a more sophisticated test called a hemoglobin electrophoresis is usually done to confirm the diagnosis and exclude other conditions that may cause an abnormal sickle cell solubility test.
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    An estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) measurement estimates how well your kidneys are filtering wastes from your blood. It is calculated using a blood test for serum creatinine.
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    Intra-operative parathyroid hormone (PTH) testing is an adjunct to many types of parathyroid surgery, but is most definitely used by the vast majority of surgeons if a minimally invasive approach is contemplated. PTH monitoring involves testing the patient’s PTH level both before and after removal of the suspected abnormal parathyroid gland. PTH is rapidly degraded in the body, which allows the surgeon to determine if parathyroidectomy has been successful while the patient is still anesthetized by observing a drop in the PTH level. If the PTH level remains high, the surgeon may need to perform a bilateral exploration to identify all 4 parathyroid glands.

    For more information go the endocrinediseases.org:

    Parathyroid Gland: How is parathyroid surgery performed

    Parathyroid Gland: Intraoperative PTH testing

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    AUCLA Health answered
    “There is a growing appreciation within the medical and dental professions of the concept of systems biology, which says that all parts of our body are connected,” David Wong, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., professor and associate dean of research at the UCLA School of Dentistry notes.

    This appreciation has helped to fuel an emerging field of study: salivary diagnostics. Finding early biological clues of disease in saliva could greatly assist in efforts to prevent diseases or intervene at a stage when treatment is more likely to succeed. Within a few years, a visit to the dentist could include a saliva test to monitor for oral as well as systemic diseases before symptoms begin to develop, says Dr. Wong, who is part of a research team that discovered salivary markers for developing pancreatic cancer.
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    AWilliam Oh, MD, Oncology, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
    What does research say about PSA monitoring?

    Although PSA tests can't tell you if you should have treatment for prostate cancer, they may help determine if PSA levels are due to cancer. In this video, William Oh, an ocologist at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses PSA tests.


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    If you have any of the following after chorionic villus sampling (CVS), call your doctor:
    • Vaginal spotting that becomes heavy bleeding
    • Mild cramping that becomes severe cramping
    • Flu-like symptoms (aches, chills) or a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
    If you have any of these symptoms and can't reach your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
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    A Diane Harper, Health Education, answered
    Human papillomavirus (HPV) is detected by scraping off the top layer of skin cells that cover the cervix and busting open the cells to see if the high-risk HPV DNA is present.

    Because over a third of women under age 30 will have an HPV infection, we do not test women under 30 for high-risk cancer-causing HPV types. The Pap test is very effective at detecting most precancerous changes of the cervix. By adding the HPV test for high-risk cancer-causing types to the Pap test, a small number of women whose precancerous changes could not be detected by Pap alone can be detected. However, when we add HPV testing to find those women whose Pap test alone did not find precancerous changes, we find a whole bunch of women who are HPV positive but who do not have precancerous changes. So there is a penalty of overdiagnosis when we use both tests together.
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    A Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    If you have a positive result from a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, you'll want a second test. Just one high number may be a false positive and usually isn't reason enough to get a biopsy. Everything from an infection to a roll in the hay can temporarily boost your PSA level. Consider seeing another doctor for a second opinion as well.

    If the positive reading is correct and you do have prostate cancer, keep in mind that most of the 217,000 men who are diagnosed with the disease each year have the indolent, slow-growing type that will never kill them. This means watching your PSA numbers, getting regular prostate exams, biopsies and changing your lifestyle may be all that's called for medically. Make your lifestyle an anti-cancer lifestyle: improve your diet (eat little to no red meat, skip processed meats and cheese, and feast on lots of broccoli, walnuts and blueberries), get more physical activity and manage stress.

    Also keep in mind that even if you get an all-clear reading from a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, testing should continue until around age 65. At forward-thinking cancer centers, guys can get a retest every two years if their PSA level is low—higher than 1 nanogram (ng) but below 3 ng. Others can retest every five years if their PSA level is a super low (0.65 ng to 1 ng).
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    ARichard Weiss, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered on behalf of Penn Medicine

    A MUGA (multiple gate acquisition) test involves no pre-procedure. The test takes approximately one hour. A radioactive isotope will be injected into your vein. You will be required to lie flat on your back.

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    ASecondsCount.org answered
    The following questions can help you talk to your physician about a C-reactive protein (CRP) test. Print out or write down these questions and take them with you to your appointment. Taking notes can help you remember your physician’s response when you get home.
    • Am I at high risk for heart disease?
    • What will the CRP test results tell us about my cardiovascular health?
    • How accurate is a CRP test?
    • What comes next if the test finds inflammation?