Blood test results interpretation
Blood test results interpretation
A blood test, also called a blood panel, is a laboratory examination of a blood sample. It checks how well the body is working, including the functions of organs such as kidneys, liver, and heart. A private blood test London can also identify genetic disorders, infections and assess your general wellbeing.
After a healthcare provider takes your blood sample, they will send it to the laboratory for analysis. Afterwards, they will compile your blood test report and send it to you or the doctor, depending on your situation. The report will contain the different components of your blood and their levels.
Blood test abbreviations
Blood test results are in the metric system of measurement and have different abbreviations. They include:
- cmm – cells per cubic millimetre
- fL (femtolitre) – a fraction of one-millionth of a litre
- g/dL – grams per decilitre
- IU/L – International units per litre
- mEq/L – milliequivalent per litre
- mL – millilitre
- mg/dL – milligrams per decilitre
- mmol/L – millimoles per litre
- ng/mL – nanograms per millilitre
- pg (picograms) – one-trillionth of a gram
Components of blood test results
A blood test London consists of three main tests. They include:
- Lipid panel
- Complete blood count
- Metabolic panel
Each of these tests checks for different things, and you can understand their result through an analysis of the results.
Most times, the laboratory does not differentiate the results of the three tests, which leaves many people confused. They usually list the result in a large column then label each test. Each test has several sub-tests, and when put together, they give a broader understanding of your health.
Complete blood count (CBC)
CBC involves checking for the three blood cell types – the white blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs) and blood platelets. Measuring the volume of these blood cells gives information on your overall health and checks for underlying conditions such as anaemia and leukaemia.
- White blood cell (WBC) count
WBCs are also known as leukocytes. These blood cells play a major role in the body’s immune system. If you have a high white blood cell count, it means you have an infection, but a low WBC count indicates different conditions such as lupus or HIV/AIDs
- Differential white blood cell count
This test checks for the five components of white blood cells and their relative proportions. If these WBC components are outside the normal range, you may have an infection or other health conditions.
The normal range of WBC components include;
- Neutrophils: 40 – 60%
- Lymphocytes: 20 – 40%
- Monocytes: 2 – 8%
- Eosinophiles: 1 – 4%
- Basophils: 0.5 – 1%
- Red blood cells (RBC) count
The RBCs carry oxygen to tissues in the body. An RBC checks the volume of RBCs in the blood. If the result is outside the normal range, it could indicate one of several medical conditions. However, this test is insufficient to have a complete diagnosis which means you need further testing if your result doesn’t fall in the normal range.
- Haematocrit (Hct) test
This test checks which portion of the blood consists of RBCs. It helps in diagnosing anaemia and other medical conditions.
- Haemoglobin (Hgb) test
Haemoglobin is the protein present in RBCs. It transports oxygen from the lung to tissues in the body. The haemoglobin test helps in diagnosing anaemia and is mostly preferable to a haematocrit test.
- Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) test
MCV test measures the space each RBC fills or the average volume of RBCs. If your result falls outside the normal range, you may have anaemia, chronic fatigue syndrome or other medical conditions.
- Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH) test
This test checks the average amount of haemoglobin in each RBC. A high level of MCH means anaemia, and low levels may indicate malnutrition.
- Red cell distribution width (RDW or RCDW) test
It checks the distribution of RBCs, not their sizes. High levels of RDW may indicate liver disease, anaemia and malnutrition.
- Platelet count
Platelets aid in blood clotting. This test measures the number of platelets in the blood. If your platelet count is high, it means you may have an infection, cancer, or anaemia, but a low count prevents wounds from healing, resulting in severe bleeding.
- Mean platelet volume (MPV)
This test checks the volume of platelets in the blood. A low MPV may cause bleeding irregularities, while a high MPV increases the risk of a stroke or heart attack.
Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)
The comprehensive metabolic panel test is also called the chemistry panel. It measures the glucose levels, electrolyte balance and fluid in the body, including kidney and liver function.
CMP consists of the following sub-tests;
- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) test
ALT is an enzyme that the liver cells produce. A high level of ALT indicates liver damage.
- Albumin test
The liver produces albumin, and this test measures the level of albumin in the blood. An abnormal level of albumin results from kidney or liver problems.
- Total protein test
This test checks the ratio of globulin and albumin. Low levels of these proteins may result from different conditions, including kidney and liver disorders or malnutrition, but high levels indicate infection, bone marrow disorder or inflammation.
- Alkaline phosphatase test
The liver and bone cells produce alkaline phosphatase. If the result is above normal, it indicates bone problems such as bone tumours or rickets and liver damage.
- Aspartate aminotransferase test
Aspartate aminotransferase is an enzyme found in muscle tissues, RBCs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and heart. This test checks the level of aspartate aminotransferase in the body. If its level is high, it indicates different conditions such as certain cancers, liver, kidney or heart damage.
- Bilirubin test
It checks for kidney and liver dysfunction. This helps in diagnosing certain conditions such as liver diseases, anaemia and neonatal jaundice.
- Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test
The BUN test measures the amount of nitrogen present in the blood. Results above the normal range may indicate kidney disease or damage, but low levels indicate severe liver damage or malnutrition.
- Calcium test
It measures the calcium level in the blood. If the result is below the normal range, it indicates tuberculosis, cancer, hyperparathyroidism and other conditions, but high levels may result from rickets, hypoparathyroidism and malnutrition.
- Chloride test
It measures the level of chloride in the body. An increased chloride level indicates dehydration, adrenal dysfunction, and kidney disorders.
- Creatinine test
Creatinine is a chemical waste that is vital in muscle energy formation. High creatinine levels may indicate kidney dysfunction.
- Fasting blood sugar test
Food and drinks affect blood sugar levels, so a fasting blood sugar test is done after at least six hours of fasting to indicate the accurate level of sugar in the blood. Results outside the normal range may indicate diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Phosphorus test
This test checks the amount of phosphorus in the blood. Increased levels of phosphorus may signify parathyroid glands and kidney problems, alcohol abuse or malnutrition.
- Potassium test
Potassium aids in vital communication between muscles and nerves. It also regulates heart function and maintains muscle function. Low potassium levels may result from the intake of diuretics.
- Sodium test
Sodium is an essential mineral in the body. It aids muscle contractions, nerve impulses and balances water levels. Abnormal sodium levels may indicate dehydration, corticosteroids, adrenal gland disorders, liver or kidney disorders.
The lipid panel is one of the main private blood tests. It consists of several sub-tests which measure different cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
- Total cholesterol test
It measures the overall LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the body.
- Triglycerides test
It measures the triglycerides (a fat) level in the blood. Abnormal levels of triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease and other medical conditions.
- HDL cholesterol test
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also called good cholesterol, helps in protecting against heart disease. Low levels of HDL increases the risk of heart issues.
- LDL cholesterol test
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also called bad cholesterol, leads to plaque formation in the arteries and increases the risk of heart diseases.
- Total cholesterol to HDL ratio test
This test calculates the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL. The result helps determine the risk of developing heart disease. High levels indicate heart problems.
If you want to carry out lipid panel, complete blood count and metabolic panel, visit Blood London today or call 020 7183 0244 to schedule an appointment for private blood tests in London today!