Blood test

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Overview

Blood tests are laboratory tests done on blood to gain an appreciation of disease states and the function of organs. Since blood flows throughout the body, acting as a medium for providing oxygen and other nutrients, and drawing waste products back to the excretory systems for disposal, the state of the bloodstream affects, or is affected by, many medical conditions. For these reasons, blood tests are the most commonly performed medical tests. Blood is obtained from one of the patient's veins by venipuncture or fingerprick, except for tests such as Arterial blood gas.

Blood is useful as it is a relatively non-invasive way to obtain cells, and extracellular fluid (plasma), from the body to check on its health. Although the term blood test is used, most routine tests (except for most haematology) are done on plasma or serum.

The list below includes both specific tests, and general techniques.

Blood chemistry tests

A basic metabolic panel measures sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), magnesium, creatinine, and glucose. It also sometimes includes calcium.

While the regular glucose test is taken at a certain point in time, the glucose tolerance test involves repeated testing to determine the rate at which glucose is processed by the body.

While the above tests are all taken from venous blood, by contrast the arterial blood gas test is, as its name would suggest, taken from arterial blood, and is therefore more dangerous and uncomfortable.

Large organic molecules

Proteins

Antibody Proteins

Other

Cells

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See also

nl:Bloedonderzoekfi:Verikoe



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