Explanation of blood tests_new logo:layout 1.qxd

are also called
leukocytes. Their function is to assist the body in
overcoming infections. A white count of less than 3,000
(3.0x10³) or greater than 12,000 (12.0x10³) may be
significant and should be reported to your doctor.
• RBC (RED BLOOD CELLS) or erythrocytes carry
hemoglobin. The red blood cell count is an actual count of
the number of red cells per cubic millimeter of blood.
• HEMOGLOBIN is the main constituent of red blood
cells. It carries oxygen to every cell of the body and
returns carbon dioxide to the lungs. Low hemoglobin may
indicate anemia. High hemoglobin may also be significant
and should be reported to your doctor.
• HEMATOCRIT is a number that tells the percent of red
cells as compared to the volume of plasma in a milliliter
of blood.
• MCV, MCH, MCHC AND RDW-SD are mathematical
calculations of red cells that measure the volume of the
red cells, the weight of hemoglobin in a red cell, the
average hemoglobin concentration in red cells and the size
distribution of the red cells.
• PLATELETS are tiny cells whose functions are to
assist in blood clotting and to help maintain damaged
blood vessels. A platelet count of less than 50,000
(50x10³) or greater than 500,000 (500x10³) should be
reported to your doctor.
• DIFFERENTIAL is a numerical indicator of the type of
white cells that are present in blood. There are usually
more neutrophils than any other cell type.
• Neutrophils assist the body in fighting bacterial • Lymphocytes are the second most common type of white blood cell. They help the body make antibodies and fight viral infections.
• Monocytes help the body produce antibodies.They also assist neutrophils and lymphocytes in carrying out their functions.
• Eosinophils and Basophils are usually present in small number and are not clinically significant unless extremely elevated. Copyright 2007 Physicians Laboratory Services Test Explanations
activity. Your doctor should evaluate any elevated product produced in the liver and excreted by the kidneys. High values may mean that kidney function is The following explanation of tests is provided as a decreased. BUN is also affected by high protein diets ELECTROLYTES are elements found in the body.
guideline for interpreting results of commonly ordered and/or strenuous exercise, which raise levels, and by The electrolytes include SODIUM, POTASSIUM, and CHLORIDE. The kidneys control potassium levels verycarefully. It is important for proper functioning of This information is to help you understand your blood CREATININE is a waste product not affected by the
nerves and muscles, particularly the heart. Values protein you eat. It’s a very good indicator of kidney outside the expected ranges, high or low, generally function. High values, especially with high BUN levels, require medical evaluation. This is especially important Abnormal values may be the result of several factors require medical evaluation. Low values are not significant.
if you are taking a diuretic (water pill) or heart pill and do not always indicate the presence of any disease.
is normally excreted in urine. High values should be evaluated by your doctor and are associated ALBUMIN & GLOBULIN measure the amount and
a) You may have eaten during the overnight fast with gout, arthritis, kidney problems and use of some type of protein in your blood. They are a general index b) medications you are taking (if any) are interfering diuretics. Low values are probably not significant.
of overall health and nutrition. Globulin is the BILIRUBIN is a pigment produced as a result of the
“antibody” protein important for fighting disease. If one c) you are normally not within standard ranges, or normal breakdown and recycling of red blood cells and of these results is high, but all other values are within d) there was a delay in processing your sample.
is removed from the blood by the liver. Low values are expected ranges, it is probably not significant.
of no concern. If levels are elevated above the expected CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR WITH ANY
ranges, but all enzymes (LD, AST, ALT) are within QUESTIONS ABOUT THE RESULTS
the fats in the blood that have been associated with heart expected ranges, it is probably not significant.
disease in some people. Triglyceride values are ALKALINE PHOSPHATASE is an enzyme found
significantly affected by recent ingestion of food. YOUR PHYSICIAN MAY WANT YOU TO
primarily in bones and the liver. Expected values are However, even if you just ate and your cholesterol is SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR
high for those who are growing (children and pregnant over 330 or your triglyceride result is higher than 500, FURTHER EVALUATION.
women) or when damage to bones or liver has occurred.
consult your doctor. Low values for these fats are not Low values are probably not significant.
important in the screening situation. The AmericanHeart Association recommends cholesterol levels be It is not possible to diagnose or treat any disease or LD is an enzyme present in all cells in the body.
below 200 for individuals of all ages.
problem with blood tests alone. The tests can help you Anything that damages cells, including blood drawing learn more about your body and help detect potential itself, will raise levels in the blood. If your blood HDL & LDL are abbreviations for lipoproteins. These
problems in early stages when treatment or lifestyle sample is not processed promptly and properly, high lipoproteins help predict the risk of developing levels may occur. If all values except LD are within coronary heart disease (CHD). High levels of HDL may expected ranges, it is probably a processing variation Non-prescription drugs (aspirin, cold medication, and does not require further evaluation.
vitamins), prescription drugs and alcohol intake often TSH (THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE)
affect test results. Your doctor must have a complete AST & ALT are abbreviations for proteins called
stimulates the thyroid gland to synthesize and secrete and honest picture of your use of medications in order enzymes that help control chemical activities within to effectively interpret the results of your blood tests.
cells. They’re found in muscle cells, liver cells and heart hyperthyroidism the TSH will be low. In primary To save time and money, please inform your physician muscle cells. Any injury to these cells causes the release of hypothyroidism TSH will be elevated.
of these factors in the initial visit.
these enzymes into the blood. Damage from alcohol and PSA (PROSTATE SPECIFIC ANTIGEN)
a number of diseases cause high values and should be GLUCOSE is a measure of sugar levels in the blood.
evaluated by your doctor. Low values are not significant.
glycoprotein produced by the prostate gland, the lining High values may be due to recent food intake or of the urethra, and the bulbourethral gland. Normally diabetes. If your value is over 200, even if you had CALCIUM & PHOSPHORUS levels are controlled
very little PSA is secreted into the blood. Increases in recently eaten, consult your doctor. If you know you by the parathyroid glands and the kidneys. These glandular size and tissue damage caused by benign have diabetes it is important to report an elevated sugar minerals are found mostly in bone but are also prostatic hypertrophy, prostatitis, and/or prostate important for proper blood clotting, nerve and cell cancer may increase circulating PSA levels.

Source: http://www.valleycountyhealthsystem.org/assets/files/publications/ExplanationofBloodTests_new.pdf

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