Laboratory Testing

The following review is a brief summary and is not intended to be comprehensive or to replace discussion of results with a physician.

A “well” person will frequently have values that fall outside the established reference range. The following laboratory tests are common tests ordered by physicians to identify normal and abnormal conditions.

Common Laboratory Test Descriptions

ABO Rh: Test used to determine blood type.

B-type Natriuretic Peptide (BNP): This is a screening test for congestive heart failure. Any result greater that 100 should be discussed with a physician.

Calcium: This test is indicative of bone function and of the hormones that influence bone function. The presence of normal values does not exclude the risk of osteoporosis.

Carbon Dioxide (ECO2): Used as a preliminary screen for many abnormalities of acid-base balance, but additional studies are needed for some diseases.

CBC: This is a count of red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets (PLT), and hemoglobin (HGB). Abnormal values should be discussed with a physician.

Chemistry Panel: Includes the following:

All laboratory test descriptions are not intended as diagnostic comments but rather to provide sufficient information for further discussion with a physician.

Colon Cancer Screening: This tests the presence of blood in the stool. A positive test result should be discussed with a physician.

Free T4 (FT4): This test measures the level of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone. High levels may be due to hyperthyroidism. However, alteration of results can occur due to high estrogen levels from pregnancy, estrogen replacement therapy or from birth control pills.

HCG: Test used to determine possible pregnancy. Positive result needs to be discussed with physician.

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): H. pylori is a bacteria that frequently causes gastritis & peptic ulcers. A positive result should be discussed with your physician.

HgA1c (Glycohemoglobin): This test measures the percentage of red cells that have glucose on them. Results are indicative of the time-averaged blood glucose over the past 1 to 3 months.

Infectious Mono: A positive result indicates an infectious mononucleosis infection. A physician’s attention is needed for proper treatment.

Influenza: Test to determine if Influenza virus is present. Follow-up treatment for positive results is available.

Insulin Resistant Panel: The insulin resistant panel is used to test for diabetes and insulin resistance. Many problem associated with insulin resistance & Type 2 diabetes are: heart disease, hypertension, neuropathy, polycystic ovarian syndrome, strokes, blood clots, gout, and clinically severe obesity. Any abnormal scores should be discussed with a physician.

Iron/Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC): This test measures the capacity of the red blood cells to carry oxygen. A low level is associated with anemia and should be discussed with a physician.

Lipid Panel: Includes cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides

Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA): The PSA is a screening test for prostate cancer. Please consult a physician if the result is above 4.0.

Rapid Strep (Group A): A positive result indicates a Strep throat infection. A physician’s attention is needed for proper treatment.

Rheumatoid Factor: This is a screening test for rheumatoid arthritis. Any positive result should be discussed with a physician.


Males: Testosterone is responsible for development of secondary sex characteristics. Measurements of testosterone are helpful in evaluating hypogonadism and hepatic cirrhosis.

Females: Helpful in evaluating polycystic ovaries, ovarian tumors, and adrenal tumors.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH): This test measures the function of a protein hormone that regulates the thyroid gland. A high level suggests the thyroid is under active and a low level suggests the thyroid is overactive.

Vitamin B12: This test measures the amount of Vitamin B12 present in the blood. It is a general index of overall health and nutrition. Decreased levels may indicate anemia.

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