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Common Lab Tests

Complete Blood Count
This test, also known as a CBC, is the most common blood test performed. It measures the types and numbers of cells in the blood, including red and white blood cells and platelets. This test is used to determine general health status, screen for disorders and evaluate nutritional status. It can help evaluate symptoms such as weakness, fatigue and bruising, and can help diagnose conditions such as anemia, leukemia, malaria and infection.

Prothrombin Time
Also known as PT and Pro Time, this test measures how long it takes blood to clot. This coagulation test measures the presence and activity of five different blood clotting factors. This test can screen for bleeding abnormalities, and may also be used to monitor medication treatments that prevent the formation of blood clots.

Basic Metabolic Panel
This test measures glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine which can help determine blood sugar level, electrolyte and fluid balance as well as kidney function. The Basic Metabolic Panel can help your doctor monitor the effects of medications you are taking, such as high blood pressure medicines, can help diagnose certain conditions, or can be part of a routine health screening. You may need to fast for up to 12 hours before this test.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
This test combines the Basic Metabolic Panel with six more tests for a more comprehensive evaluation of metabolic functions, with a focus on organ systems.

Lipid Panel
The lipid panel is a group of tests used to evaluate cardiac risk. It includes cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Liver Panel
The liver panel is a combination of tests used to assess liver function and establish the possible presence of liver tumors.

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
This test screens and monitors the function of the thyroid.

Hemoglobin A1C
This test is used to diagnose and monitor diabetes.

Urinalysis
Often the first lab test performed, this is a general screening test used to check for early signs of disease. It may also be used to monitor diabetes or kidney disease.

Cultures
Cultures are used to test for diagnosis and treatment of infections. Illnesses such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, strep throat, MRSA and meningitis can be detected and tested for appropriate antibiotic treatment.

For more information, see www.labtestsonline.org, a public resource on clinical laboratory testing.
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