Glossary of Blood Tests
A/G Ratio: Albumin value divided by the globulin value.
Alkaline Phosphatase: An enzyme found in the blood related to liver and bone function. Damage to these cells will increase values.
AST/ALT: An enzyme found in the liver cells and heart muscle. Damage to these cells will increase values.
BNP: A protein in the blood. Congestive heart failure will increase values.
BUN: "BUN" stands for blood urea nitrogen. It is a waste product which should be removed from the blood by the kidneys. This test measures kidney function.
Calcium: The most abundant mineral found in the human body. Abnormalities are found in bone loss, kidney disease and lack of Vitamin D.
Chloride: An electrolyte or salt found in the blood.
Cholesterol: A blood fat made by the liver but also from eating animal fats such as eggs, cheese, meat, etc. Increased values may indicate a tendency to have hardening of the arteries. Values of 180 mg/dl or less are associated with decreased risk of coronary artery disease.
CO2: Carbon dioxide, a waste product, transported from the tissues to the lungs.
Creatinine: a waste product, which should be removed from the blood by the kidneys. This test measures kidney function.
GGT: An enzyme found primarily in the liver.
Globulin: Globulins help to combat infection. It is the total protein value minus albumin value.
Glucose: Glucose (also known as blood sugar) indicates blood sugar level at the time blood was drawn. High values are seen in diabetics. Glucose may be altered by diet, activity, stress, or medication.
Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin is an iron-bearing protein which is the red coloring matter found in blood. Decreased levels can indicate anemia.
Hematocrit: The packed volume of red blood cells-decreased levels can indicate anemia.
Hemoglobin A1c (Glycohemoglobin): Indicates blood sugar activity for the past two to three months. Used to monitor treatment for diabetes.
HIV antibody: Presence of antibody is associated with having been infected by the Human Immunodeficiency virus.
hsCRP: A protein made in response to inflammation. Used as a screening test for heart disease.
Lipoproteins: Proteins that carry lipids like cholesterol around the body. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is also known as "Bad" Cholesterol because it deposits cholesterol in the artery walls; High density lipoprotein (HDL) is also known as "Good" Cholesterol because it carries cholesterol back to the liver.
MCH/MCV/MCHC: Calculations of ratios between red blood cell size, red blood cell number and hemoglobin concentration.
Magnesium: An element involved in regulating blood pressure and bone formation. Abnormal levels are found in pancreatitis, alcoholism and Addison's disease.
MRSA: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a bacteria that causes skin infections. It is resistant to certain antibiotics and can prove difficult to treat, especially in patients with impaired immune systems.
Phosphorus: An element involved in bone formation. Increased levels may be seen in kidney disease.
Platelets: Platelets are cells that assist with blood coagulation (clotting).
Potassium: A body salt or electrolyte found mostly inside of cells. Certain types of blood pressure medications (diuretics) may lower potassium levels.
PSA: Produced by tissues in the prostate gland. Because PSA is found in both normal and abnormal prostate tissue, levels must be interpreted by your physician based on your entire medical picture.
RBC (Red Blood Cells): Red blood count is the number of red blood cells. Low levels are seen in anemia or severe bleeding.
Sodium: A body salt or electrolyte. Kidney disease, some diseases of the adrenal gland, and dehydration can cause abnormal results.
Total Bilirubin: A waste product from red blood cell death. Elevations can be associated with liver disease or excess breakdown of red blood cells. Slight increases are sometimes seen without significance.
Total Protein: This is a combination of all proteins in the blood stream. Decreased values occur in liver disease and poor nutrition.
Triglycerides: A blood fat related to intake of excessive calories and starch (sweets) in the diet. Alcohol also will increase the value. An overnight fast is required for accurate test results.
Uric Acid: A waste product normally removed by the kidneys. If in excess, can cause kidney stones or deposit in the joints (gout).
WBC (White Blood Cells): White blood count is the number of white blood cells. White blood cells help fight infection. Increased levels may indicate an infection or leukemia.
WBC Differential: This is a count of the five main types of white blood cells, and can indicate different types of infection or leukemia.
Glossary of Urine Tests
Casts: Casts indicate that protein is being excreted in the urine and may indicate a possible kidney infection or disease.
Glucose: Glucose, or sugar, in the urine may indicate glucose intolerance or diabetes.
Microalbumin: Very low levels of albumin lost by the kidney can indicate early kidney disease.
RBC (Red Blood Cells): An abnormal number of red blood cells may indicate kidney stones, a kidney infection, or tumor.
WBC (White Blood Cells): An abnormal number of white blood cells may indicate possible infection of urinary tract, bladder, or kidney.
Urine Culture: Urine cultures are performed to diagnose urinary tract infections.