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A biochemistry test is a blood test that measures the levels of various chemicals and proteins in the blood. These chemicals and proteins are involved in a variety of bodily functions, such as metabolism, digestion, and immunity. By measuring the levels of these substances, doctors can get an idea of how well these functions are working.
Biochemistry tests are often used to diagnose and monitor a variety of medical conditions, including:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Thyroid disease
They can also be used to assess a person’s overall health and well-being.
The specific chemicals and proteins that are measured in a biochemistry test will vary depending on the purpose of the test. However, some common tests include:
- Glucose: A sugar that is the body’s main source of energy. High blood sugar levels can be a sign of diabetes.
- Creatinine: A waste product that is removed from the body by the kidneys. High creatinine levels can be a sign of kidney disease.
- Bilirubin: A yellow pigment that is produced by the liver. High bilirubin levels can be a sign of liver disease.
- AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and ALT (alanine aminotransferase): Enzymes that are released from the liver when it is damaged. High AST and ALT levels can be a sign of liver disease.
- Alkaline phosphatase: An enzyme that is found in many tissues, including the liver, bones, and intestines. High alkaline phosphatase levels can be a sign of liver disease, bone disease, or pancreatic cancer.
- Gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT): An enzyme that is found in the liver and kidneys. High GGT levels can be a sign of liver disease or alcoholism.
- Albumin: A protein that is made by the liver. Low albumin levels can be a sign of liver disease or malnutrition.
- Protein: A substance that is made up of amino acids. High protein levels can be a sign of dehydration or kidney disease.
- Cholesterol: A waxy substance that is found in the blood. High cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Triglycerides: A type of fat that is found in the blood. High triglyceride levels can increase the risk of heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein): A type of cholesterol that is considered to be “good” cholesterol. High HDL levels can help to protect against heart disease.
- LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein): A type of cholesterol that is considered to be “bad” cholesterol. High LDL levels can increase the risk of heart disease.
Biochemistry tests are usually performed on a blood sample that is drawn from a vein in the arm. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are usually available within a few days.
If you have any questions about biochemistry tests, please talk to your doctor.
Hematology tests are a group of blood tests that are used to assess the health of the blood and blood-forming organs. These tests can help to diagnose a variety of conditions, including anemia, infection, blood clotting disorders, and leukemia.
Some common hematology tests include:
- Complete blood count (CBC): This test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the blood. It can also be used to measure the hemoglobin level and hematocrit.
- White blood cell differential: This test measures the different types of white blood cells in the blood. It can help to identify infections and other conditions.
- Platelet count: This test measures the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting.
- Red blood cell indices: This test measures the size, shape, and hemoglobin content of red blood cells. It can help to diagnose anemia and other conditions.
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: This procedure is used to collect a sample of bone marrow for examination. Bone marrow is where blood cells are made. This test can help to diagnose leukemia and other blood disorders.
Hematology tests are usually performed on a blood sample that is drawn from a vein in the arm. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are usually available within a few days.
If you have any questions about hematology tests, please talk to your doctor.
Here are some of the normal ranges for hematology tests:
- Red blood cell count (RBC): 4.5-5.5 million/µL
- Hemoglobin: 13.5-17.5 g/dL
- Hematocrit: 40-50%
- White blood cell count (WBC): 4,500-11,000/µL
- Platelet count: 150,000-450,000/µL
However, the normal ranges for hematology tests can vary depending on the age, sex, and health of the individual. It is important to talk to your doctor about the specific results of your hematology tests.
Microbiology tests are used to identify and diagnose infections caused by microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. These tests can also be used to determine the antibiotic susceptibility of microorganisms, which helps doctors to choose the most effective treatment.
Some common microbiology tests include:
- Culture: This test is used to grow microorganisms in a laboratory so that they can be identified. A sample of tissue, fluid, or other material is taken from the patient and placed in a special growth medium. If microorganisms are present, they will grow and multiply in the medium. The microorganisms can then be identified by their appearance and by testing their reactions to various chemicals.
- Gram stain: This test is used to classify bacteria into two main groups: gram-positive and gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria have a thick cell wall that stains purple, while gram-negative bacteria have a thin cell wall that stains pink. This information can be helpful in identifying the type of bacteria that is causing an infection.
- Antibiotic sensitivity testing: This test is used to determine which antibiotics are effective against a particular microorganism. A sample of the microorganism is grown in a laboratory and then exposed to different antibiotics. The antibiotics that kill the microorganism or inhibit its growth are considered to be effective against that microorganism.
- Molecular tests: These tests use DNA or RNA to identify microorganisms. These tests are often more sensitive than culture tests and can be used to identify microorganisms that are difficult to grow in culture.
Microbiology tests can be performed on a variety of samples, including blood, urine, stool, sputum, and tissue. The specific sample that is collected will depend on the suspected infection.
The results of microbiology tests can take several days to be available. However, some molecular tests can provide results in a matter of hours.
If you have any questions about microbiology tests, please talk to your doctor.
A serology test is a blood test that looks for antibodies in the blood. Antibodies are proteins that the immune system makes to fight foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. When you have an infection, your body makes antibodies that are targeted to those pathogens. These antibodies may protect you from getting another infection or from getting severe symptoms. A vaccine can also provide protection by triggering your immune system to make antibodies to pathogen.
Serology tests are used to diagnose a variety of conditions, including:
- Infections: Serology tests can be used to diagnose infections that are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. For example, a serology test for Lyme disease can be used to detect antibodies to the Lyme disease bacteria.
- Autoimmune diseases: Serology tests can be used to diagnose autoimmune diseases, which are conditions in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. For example, a serology test for rheumatoid arthritis can be used to detect antibodies to the body’s own joints.
- Allergies: Serology tests can be used to diagnose allergies, which are conditions in which the immune system reacts to harmless substances. For example, a serology test for allergies to peanuts can be used to detect antibodies to peanuts.
- Cancer: Serology tests can be used to diagnose cancer, especially cancer that has spread to the blood. For example, a serology test for cancer of the colon can be used to detect antibodies to cancer cells from the colon.
Serology tests are usually performed on a blood sample that is drawn from a vein in the arm. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are usually available within a few days.
If you have any questions about serology tests, please talk to your doctor.
Here are some of the most common serology tests:
- Antibody titer: This test measures the level of antibodies to a particular antigen. A high antibody titer can indicate that the person has been exposed to the antigen in the past, either through infection or vaccination.
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA): This is a very sensitive test that can be used to detect antibodies to a wide variety of antigens.
- Radioimmunoassay (RIA): This is another very sensitive test that can be used to detect antibodies to a wide variety of antigens.
- Western blot: This test is used to identify the specific antibodies that are present in a blood sample.
The type of serology test that is performed will depend on the suspected condition. For example, a serology test for Lyme disease would be different from a serology test for rheumatoid arthritis.
Serology tests can be a valuable tool for diagnosing a variety of conditions. However, it is important to remember that serology tests are not always accurate. For example, a negative serology test does not necessarily mean that the person does not have the condition. This is because the body may not have produced enough antibodies to be detected by the test.
If you have any questions about serology tests, please talk to your doctor.