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What is a lab test? – A Patient’s Guide

Posted On Friday 23rd December 2016 1:01 PM


A reliable tool, the internet space is flooded with tons of blogs and articles that detail upon a mammoth of tests and procedures relating to a colossal of infections, diseases, and condition. But have you ever wondered how these lab tests and procedures performed in the laboratories?

Laboratory Tests Definition

Laboratory testing refers to a process in which a medical test or procedure is done under controlled environmental conditions with the use of appropriate supplies and equipment, by a qualified doctor or a laboratory technician. Tests are typically done on samples collected. These include a blood sample, urine, large lesion cut out of the body, tissue or other substances which may prove to be beneficial in checking the presence of the particular disease, infection or condition targeted.

Most lab tests today, are performed on automated testing machines or with the help of special kits that carry lab testing ‘chemicals of controlled quality’ so that the test performed give out accurate and reliable lab test results. While there are some that need utmost care and precision and are done only under the right lab conditions.

A lab test aids in defining an array of parameters depending upon the requirements of the test or procedure. These are as follows:-

  • Look for changes in the health condition of the patient
  • Detect the presence of a disease, infection or condition in the body
  • Help lay out a strategic plan to treat a disease or condition
  • Evaluate the condition of a person undergoing a treatment
  • Study the course of a condition or disease over a period of time.

Common Lab Tests

As stated above, there are an infinite number of lab tests performed in a laboratory each day against a mammoth of infections, diseases, and conditions. However, there are some that are performed more often than the rest. These are as follows:-

  • Chemistry Panel or Complete blood count test
  • Fibrinogen
  • Hemoglobin A1C
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Diabetes Test
  • Thyroid Function Test
  • Serum Iron Test
  • Serum Vitamin Assays
  • Liver Function Test
  • Kidney Function Test
  • Sexually Transmitted Disease Blood (STD) Test
  • Cardiovascular blood tests
  • Autoimmune Disease Test
  • Drug Assays
  • Urology Test
  • Tissue Histology
  • Biopsies against Cancer Detection
  • X-ray tests

Urine and blood laboratory tests are the most common amid all. This is because a small amount of urine and blood have the ability to give away the most vital information against the presence of external factors such as microbes, etc. or antibodies floated by the immune system and aid in the detection of the problem in the most effective and efficient manner.

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