Microsoft word - explanation of laboratory results.doc

Explanation of Laboratory Results
Complete Blood Count (CBC)

White blood cells (WBC) - May indicate infection, elevated with systemic
steroid use, decreased with autoimmune or some blood diseases among other causes. The following are types of WBCs with additional meaning: • Neutrophils – Elevated with bacterial infection and low indicates an increased
Lymphocytes – Elevated in viral infections and low with diseases such as
Eosinophils – Elevated with allergies or infections with parasites.
Monocytes – Elevated in blood diseases, certain infections or auto-imune
Basophils – Elevated in blood diseases.

Red Blood Cells (RBC) – Elevated in dehydration, high altitude and CVD and low in
anemia, hemorrhages, cancers, fluid overload in pregnancy.
Hemoglobin (Hgb) and Hematocrit (Hct) – Elevated in smokers and those with
polycythemia and low anemia.
Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV) – Elevated suggests Vit B12 or folic acid
deficiency anemia and increased alcohol consumption and low iron deficiency.

Paltelet Count (PLT) –
Elevation is rare, low counts suggest medication interactions,
antibody formation or liver disease and blood clotting problems.
Glucose (blood sugar) – Elevated with diabetes or systemic steroids but low may
suggest pancreas or liver problems.

Heart Disease Risk

Homoncysteine – Amino acid associated wit h increased cardiovascular disease
High-sensitivity C-Reaction Protein (hsCRP) – Inflammatory protein
associated with cardiovascular disease risk.
Iron Status
Iron - Elevated with over consumption of iron rich foods/supplements, iron
overload and low in iron deficiency.
Ferritin – Iron storage protein is elevated in iron overload, infections, cancers
and low in pregnancy and bowel disease or surgery.
Transferrin Saturation (%) – Elevates in iron overload and low chronic iron
deficiency anemia.
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) – Elevated in iron deficiency and low ion

Kidney Function

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – Elevated with kidney problems, recent surgery,
dehydration or blood loss and low with liver disease, pregnancy and diets.
Creatinie (CR) – Elevated with kidney problems

Electrolytes –

Sodium (Na) - Elevated with dehydration and low in patients who sweat
profusely or are on diuretics (water pills) • Potassium (K) - Elevated with kidney problems, potassium supplements, or
certain diuretics and low in patients with kidney problems, vomiting or diarrhea.
Acid-Base Balance

Chloride (CI) – Elevated with dehydration, hyperventilation or kidney infection
Carbon Dioxide (CO) – Elevated rare and low dehydration, diarrhea, exercise

Bone Metabolism

Calcium – Elevated with alcoholism, exercise, hyperparathyroidism and some
cancers and low with diarrhea, malabsorption or calcium/Vit D deficiency, pancreatitis and renal failure. • Phosphorus – Elevated with low calcium, kidney problems and in
hypoparathyroidism: low with alcoholism and vitamin D deficiency.
Lipid Panel

Total Cholesterol – Elevation increases risk of heart disease and stroke.
Triglycerides – Elevated in “mixed” hyperlipidemia often in Diabetics and
Syndrome X patients.

Liver Functions Tests

Alanine aminotranferase (ALT or SGPT) – An enzyme produced in liver cells
is elevated when cells are excessively damaged or die secondary to hepatitis (viralm alcohlic, medication-induced, etc.) • Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) – An enzyme is produced in
muscle and liver (less specific than ALT) can be elevated in a 1:1 ration with liver disease. • Alkaline Phosphatase (Alk Phos) – An enzyme produced in the bile ducts,
intestine, kidney, placenta and bone. Elevation in normal or only modestly elevated ALT and AST activites, suggests disease of the bile ducts, alone with some bone disorders and growing children up to age 22. • Gamma-Glutamyltranspeptidase (GGT) – An enzyme produced in the bile
ducts may be elevated with bile duct disease, any liver disease, medications and alcohol consumption. • Bilirubin - The major breakdown product from old red blood cells are elevated
with increased production, many different liver diseases and some non-liver disease. • Actate Dehydrogenenase (LDH) – Enzyme found in many organs may be
elevated with hepatitis or with other organs diseases including the heart, lungs, skeletal muscles, the kidney or brain. • Proteins – Total proteins synthesized by the liver consist mainly of albumin and
globulin are rarely elevated and low with poor liver function, malnutrition, some kidney disease and other rare condtions.
Other – Cancer Screening

Pap smear – positive if microscopic evidence of infectious irritation (Candida,
HPV, etc.) or precanerous cells in WOMEN.
PSA (Prostate specific Antigen) –
Elevated with prostate infections, benign
prostate enlargement (BPH) and prostate cancer in MEN.

Thyroid Function

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – Sensitive measure of thyroid function
and used to monitor thyroid replacement therapy. • T3 - Elevated in some thyroid diseases and low in malnutrition, severe acute
T4 – Decrease with normal or elevated TSH suggests thyroid but with low TSH a
Uric Acid – Elevated with gout.

Urinalysis (UA)-
Tests for evidence of urinary tract infection and presence of blood,
sugar, or protein in the urine.
White Blood cells – Indicates presence of possible infection.
Nitrites – Presence indicates infection.
Leukocyte estrace – Presence indicates infection.
Ketones – Elevated in diabetes, fasting, dieting or starvation.
Glucose- Elevated when blood sugar is over 180 and suggests diabetes.
Blood/Occult blood or RBC’s – Presence suggest bleeding in the urinary tract
infection, or may be related to menstruation. The cause should always be
determined especially in men.
Protein – Presence may be seen with kidney problems, diabetes and bone cancer
among other causes.
Urobilinogen –
Presence may be seen in liver disease, breakage of blood cells
and medication.


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