Common Lab Tests

Urinalysis

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a urinalysis (UA). This test may be done when you are admitted to the hospital. It may also be part of a wellness exam, a new pregnancy evaluation or for a planned surgery.

What the Test Does

This test, along with an examination of your urine under a microscope, can detect metabolic and kidney disorders as well as urinary tract infections.

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your urine will be collected.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Read the Clean Catch Urine Patient Education sheets, or ask your doctor or the laboratory for exact instructions.

What the Test Will Show

This test measures:

  • the pH (acidity) of your urine
  • the concentration of your urine
  • the number of red and white blood cells in your urine
  • bacteria
  • crystals
  • the amount of sugar and protein in your urine

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Lipid Profile

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a Lipid Profile. The tests are used to check your risk for many types of heart diseases.

What the Test Does

The Lipid Profile is a group of tests that can show your risk of heart disease. The profile includes:

  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol
  • HDL Cholesterol (“Good” Cholesterol)
  • LDL Cholesterol (“Bad” Cholesterol)

The lipid profile will also include an HDL/Cholesterol ratio or a risk score based on test results, age, sex and other risk factors.

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

To make sure your test results are correct. Do not eat anything 10-12 hours before the test. You may drink water, but no other liquids. If you have any questions about fasting, please talk with the laboratory.

What the Test Will Show

This test helps your doctor decide if you are at risk of developing heart disease. Your doctor considers the results of the lipid profile along with other known risk factors to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up care.

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time

Your doctor has sent you for a test called an Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (APTT).

The APTT test:

  • is used to see how well your blood thinning drugs (such as Heparin) are working.
  • can also be used to check for some bleeding disorders (such as hemophilia) that run in families.

What the Test Does

This test helps measure the ability of your blood to form a clot.

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Ask your doctor or the laboratory if you need to do anything special for this test.

What the Test Will Show

Your doctor will use the test results to see if your anti-coagulant medicine is working as it should. The APTT test results may also show other problems such as liver disease or a need for vitamins.

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a Prothrombin Time (PT) and International Normalized Ratio (INR). 

The PT test:

  • is used to see how well your blood thinning drugs (such as Coumadin) are working.
  • can also be used to check for some bleeding disorders (such as hemophilia) that run in families.

International Normalized Ratio

The INR helps standardize PT results from one laboratory to the next.

What the Test Does

This test helps measure the ability of the blood to form a clot.

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Ask your doctor or the laboratory if you need to do anything special for this test.

What the Test Will Show

The test will show if your anti-coagulant medicine is working as it should. The test may also show other problems such as liver disease and a need for vitamins.

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Thyroid Profile III

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a Thyroid Profile III (Thyroid Panel, Thyroid Function Tests). The thyroid gland is in the front of the neck below your Adam’s apple. This gland makes a hormone that plays an important role in regulating your body’s metabolism.

What the Test Does

The Thyroid Profile III measures hormone levels in your blood related to your thyroid gland. 

The test measures:

  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
  • Reflex Free T4

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Ask your doctor or the laboratory if you need to do anything special for this test.

What the Test Will Show

This test will show if your thyroid hormone is low, normal or high. The test is also used to monitor patients who are taking hormone replacement medicine.

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Complete Blood Count and Differential

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a Complete Blood Count and Differential (CBC and Diff). A CBC is often done as part of a routine medical exam.

It can also be used to:

  • check blood loss.
  • help diagnose infections and diseases such as leukemia, sickle cell disease or malaria.
  • check the response to some types of drug or radiation treatment.
What the Test Does

This test can show problems with your blood and the effects of radiation or chemotherapy on your blood. The test measures the types and numbers of:
  • white cells
  • red cells
  • platelets

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Ask your doctor or the laboratory if you need to do anything special for this test.

What the Test Will Show

The types and numbers of white cells, red cells and platelets.

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Basic Metabolic Panel

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP). The BMP may be part of a blood work-up for a medical exam or a yearly physical.

What the Test Does

This is a group of eight tests that will show:

  • how well your kidneys are functioning.
  • electrolyte levels to check if fluids are balanced.
  • blood sugar levels.
The BMP includes:
  • Calcium
  • Electrolytes
    • Sodium
    • Potassium
    • Chloride
    • CO2
  • Kidney Tests
    • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
    • Creatinine

What Is Needed From You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Ask your doctor or the laboratory if you need to do anything special for this test.

What the Test Will Show

The BMP checks kidney function and screens for diabetes.

About The Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.


Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

Your doctor has sent you for a test called a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP). The CMP is done as part of a blood work-up for a medical exam or a yearly physical.

What the Test Does

The CMP is a group of 14 tests that show the health of your kidneys, liver and electrolyte balance, as well as your blood sugar and blood proteins. The CMP includes:
  • Glucose
  • Calcium
  • Proteins
    • Albumin
    • Total Protein
  • Electrolytes
    • Sodium
    • Potassium
    • Chloride
    • CO2
  • Kidney Tests
    • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
    • Creatinine
  • Liver Tests
    • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)
    • Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT)
    • Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST)
  • Bilirubin

What Is Needed from You

A small sample of your blood will be taken.

What You Need To Do Before the Test

Ask your doctor or the laboratory if you need to do anything special for this test.

What the Test Will Show

This test checks for many conditions including diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease. It can also be used to check disease complications or side effects of drugs.

About the Test Results

Test results may be outside of normal ranges for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about your test results.