Liver Health

Liver Health Tests and health information

Do you have a problem with your liver?

Ulta Lab Tests' liver function panel and hepatic blood tests can help you detect, assess, and monitor liver disease or damage.

There are a few signs and symptoms to look out for if you're concerned that your liver health is failing. Jaundice is one of the most noticeable signs of liver illness. Your skin will develop a yellowish tone, and the whites of your eyes may also turn yellow. 
Your liver may not be functioning correctly if your urine is dark. If your urine is consistently amber or brown in color, this is cause for worry. The liver's inability to break down bilirubin, a chemical molecule, causes this. 

Symptoms include abdominal swelling, pale-colored feces, nausea, tiredness, easily bruised skin, and swollen legs or ankles. If you've been experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above for an extended period, you might consider obtaining a liver health test. 

If you want to learn more about liver health and the blood tests that can help you, click on the title of the articles below.

Liver function tests are blood tests that can assist you and your doctor detect, evaluating, and determining whether or not you have liver disease. They can also be used to track how well individuals with liver disease are responding to therapy. These tests may yield different results depending on what is causing the liver damage, but they usually include bilirubin, albumin, and prothrombin time (PT). 

If you're concerned about having an unhealthy liver, we offer Liver function tests and comprehensive lab testing services so that you can find out what is going on in your body.

Take control of your health with Ulta Lab Tests! You may obtain discounted lab tests online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plus, we have 2100 locations nationwide. Quest Diagnostics delivers test results in 24 to 48 hours for most tests after the specimen collection, and our customer service is always friendly and helpful.

Order your liver blood lab tests now so you can take charge of your health and stay healthy. Choose from the tests below and start today.

 


Name Matches
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) [ 482 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • Prothrombin Time (PT) with INR [ 8847 ]
  • Hepatic Function Panel [ 10256 ]

  • Alpha-1-Antitrypsin, Quantitative [ 235 ]
  • Ceruloplasmin [ 326 ]
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) [ 482 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) [ 7573 ]
  • Prothrombin Time (PT) with INR [ 8847 ]
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) [ 10231 ]
  • Hepatic Function Panel [ 10256 ]
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]

  • Alpha-1-Antitrypsin, Quantitative [ 235 ]
  • Ceruloplasmin [ 326 ]
  • Copper [ 363 ]
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) [ 482 ]
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation [ 498 ]
  • Hepatitis A Antibody, Total [ 508 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody (IgM) [ 4848 ]
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) [ 7573 ]
  • Hepatitis C AB with reflex to HCV RNA, QN, PCR [ 8472 ]
  • Prothrombin Time (PT) with INR [ 8847 ]
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) [ 10231 ]
  • Hepatic Function Panel [ 10256 ]
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]

  • Alpha-1-Antitrypsin, Quantitative [ 235 ]
  • Ceruloplasmin [ 326 ]
  • Copper [ 363 ]
  • Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT) [ 482 ]
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Reflex Confirmation [ 498 ]
  • Hepatitis A Antibody, Total [ 508 ]
  • Lactate Dehydrogenase (LD) [ 593 ]
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody (IgM) [ 4848 ]
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) [ 7573 ]
  • Hepatitis C AB with reflex to HCV RNA, QN, PCR [ 8472 ]
  • Prothrombin Time (PT) with INR [ 8847 ]
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) [ 10231 ]
  • Hepatic Function Panel [ 10256 ]
  • Alpha-Fetoprotein (AFP) and AFP-L3 [ 19529 ]
  • DCP (Des-Gamma-Carboxy-Prothrombin) [ 19982 ]
  • Hepatitis C Viral RNA, Quantitative, Real-Time PCR [ 35645 ]
     

Serum albumin measurements are used in the monitoring and treatment of numerous diseases involving those related to nutrition and pathology particularly in the liver and kidney. Serum albumin is valuable when following response to therapy where improvement in the serum albumin level is the best sign of successful medical treatment. There may be a loss of albumin in the gastrointestinal tract, in the urine secondary to renal damage or direct loss of albumin through the skin. More than 50% of patients with gluten enteropathy have depressed albumin. The only cause of increased albumin is dehydration; there is no naturally occurring hyperalbuminemia

Description: An Alkaline Phosphatase test or ALP is a blood test that is used to screen for and monitor liver disease, bone disorders, and gallbladder disease.

Also Known As: ALP Test, Alk Phos Test, Alkp Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alkaline Phosphatase test ordered?

An ALP test may be requested as a standard laboratory test, frequently in conjunction with a liver panel of further assays. When a person exhibits signs of a liver or bone issue, it is frequently requested in conjunction with a number of additional tests.

What does an Alkaline Phosphatase test check for?

An enzyme called alkaline phosphatase is present in many bodily tissues. The cells that make up bone and the liver have the highest quantities of ALP. Liver illness or bone diseases are the most frequent causes of high blood levels of ALP. The blood's concentration of ALP is determined by this test.

ALP is located in the liver on the margins of cells that converge to form bile ducts, which are minuscule tubes that transport bile from the liver to the bowels, where it is required to aid in the digestion of dietary fat. Osteoblasts, specialized cells involved in bone production, are responsible for producing ALP in bone. Isoenzymes, which are produced in unique forms by each type of tissue, are ALP.

For instance, when one or more bile ducts are obstructed, ALP blood levels may significantly rise. Gallbladder inflammation or gallstones may be the cause of this. Blood ALP levels rise slightly more subtly in cirrhosis, liver cancer, hepatitis, and when liver-toxic medications are used.

Increased ALP levels can result from any condition that promotes excessive bone growth, including bone diseases like Paget's disease. Because their bones are still growing, children and adolescents often have higher blood ALP levels. Because of this, the ALP test needs to be interpreted differently for children and adults.

It is feasible to distinguish between the various ALP forms generated by various bodily tissues. A test may be run to identify which isoenzyme is elevated in the blood if it is unclear from clinical signs and symptoms whether the cause of a high ALP test result is liver or bone illness.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alkaline Phosphatase test:

  • AST
  • ALT
  • GGT
  • Bilirubin
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Alkaline Phosphatase Isoenzymes

Conditions where an Alkaline Phosphatase test is recommended:

  • Lier Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Jaundice
  • Osteoporosis
  • Paget’s Disease
  • Vitamin D Deficiency

How does my health care provider use an Alkaline Phosphatase test?

Using the alkaline phosphatase test, liver disease and bone diseases can be found.

Damaged liver cells produce more ALP into the blood under situations that harm the liver. Because ALP levels are particularly high at the margins of the cells that unite to form bile ducts, this test is frequently used to identify obstructed bile ducts. Blood levels of ALP are frequently high when one or more of them are blocked, such as by a tumor.

ALP levels in the blood can be impacted by any illness or disease that hinders bone development or increases bone cell activity. For instance, an ALP test may be used to identify tumors that have metastasized to the bones or to identify Paget's disease, a condition that results in deformed bones. This examination could occasionally be used to track the progress of patients being treated for Paget's disease or other bone disorders such vitamin D insufficiency.

Tests for the ALP isoenzyme may be performed to identify the cause if ALP readings are elevated but it is unclear whether this is related to liver or bone illness. To distinguish between liver and bone illness, one may additionally perform a GGT test and/or a test for 5'-nucleotidase. The levels of GGT and 5'-nucleotidase are elevated in liver illness but not in disorders of the bones.

What do my Alkaline Phosphatase test results mean?

High ALP typically indicates the presence of a disease that increases bone cell activity or liver damage.

The liver is typically where the elevated ALP is coming from if other liver tests, such as bilirubin, aspartate aminotransferase, or alanine aminotransferase, are also high. The high ALP is probably the result of liver illness if GGT or 5-nucleotidase levels are also elevated. If one of these two tests comes out normal, a bone issue is probably to blame for the high ALP. The ALP is typically coming from bone if calcium and/or phosphorus readings are abnormal.

A test for ALP isoenzymes may be required to differentiate between bone and liver ALP if it is unclear from signs and symptoms or other regular testing whether the high ALP is from the liver or bone.

ALP test findings are typically analyzed alongside those of other liver disease testing. ALP is commonly significantly less increased than AST and ALT in several types of liver illness, such as hepatitis. ALP and bilirubin may increase substantially higher than AST or ALT when the bile ducts are obstructed. ALP levels in liver cancer may also be higher.

ALP may be elevated in some bone illnesses, such as Paget's disease, which causes enlarged and misshapen bones, or in some cancers that extend to the bone.

ALP levels will eventually drop or return to normal if Paget's disease is successfully treated in a patient. ALP levels should fall if someone with liver or bone cancer responds to therapy.

Other illnesses include Hodgkin's lymphoma, congestive heart failure, ulcerative colitis, and specific bacterial infections can cause moderately high ALP.

ALP levels may briefly drop after cardiac bypass surgery or blood transfusions. Levels may drop as a result of a zinc deficiency. Hypophosphatasia, a rare genetic bone metabolism condition, can result in extremely low levels of ALP that persist for a long time. Wilson disease, protein insufficiency, and malnutrition are further potential reasons of low ALP.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.



Description: The Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is a blood test used to detect the protein alpha-fetoprotein which is produced by the liver.

Also Known As: AFP Test, Total AFP Test, AFP-L3 Test, Alpha-Fetoprotein Tumor Markers, Alpha-Fetoprotein Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test ordered?

An AFP blood test may be ordered by a healthcare provider:

  • When abdominal masses are felt during a medical examination or imaging testing reveal possible malignancies, it is likely that someone has liver cancer or certain malignancies of the testicles or ovaries.
  • When someone has been diagnosed with and treated for cancer of the liver, testicles, or ovaries, the success of treatment is being assessed.
  • When someone is being watched for a recurrence of cancer
  • Patients with persistent hepatitis or liver cirrhosis should be followed up on.
  • When a person has chronic liver illness, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered to help evaluate the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, test the efficiency of hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, or monitor for recurrence.

What does an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 blood test check for?

Alpha-fetoprotein is a protein produced predominantly by the liver of a developing baby and the yolk cavity of a developing embryo. When a baby is born, AFP levels are usually high and then rapidly drop. Liver injury and certain malignancies can drastically raise AFP levels. This test determines the amount of AFP in your blood.

When the liver cells regenerate, AFP is generated. AFP can be continuously high in chronic liver illnesses such hepatitis and cirrhosis. Certain cancers can produce extremely high quantities of AFP. Because of this, the AFP test can be used as a tumor marker. Many persons with hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma, a kind of liver cancer that affects babies, have elevated levels of AFP. They're also discovered in certain persons who have testicular or ovarian cancer.

There are various different types of AFP. The normal AFP test measures total AFP, which includes all of the AFP variations. In the United States, this is the most common AFP test.

One of the AFP variations is known as L3 because of its propensity to attach to a protein called Lens culinaris agglutinin in the lab. The AFP-L3 percent test compares the quantity of AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP and is a relatively recent test. Increased L3 levels are linked to a higher likelihood of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in the near future, as well as a worse prognosis, because L3-related malignancies are more aggressive.

AFP-L3 can be higher in people with hepatocellular carcinoma than in those with benign liver disorders who have low total AFP. In Japan, tumor markers such as total AFP and AFP-L3 are utilized in conjunction with ultrasound to monitor hepatocellular carcinoma. This procedure differs from that in the United States and Europe, but healthcare practitioners in the United States occasionally order the two tests.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test:

  • CEA
  • CA-125
  • hCG Tumor Marker
  • DCP

Conditions where an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test is recommended:

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Testicular Cancer

How does my health care provider use an Alpha-Fetoprotein and AFP-L3 test?

The tumor marker alpha-fetoprotein is used to detect and diagnose malignancies of the liver, testicles, and ovaries. Despite the fact that the test is frequently done to monitor persons with chronic liver illnesses including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis B, or hepatitis C who have an elevated lifetime risk of developing liver cancer, most current guidelines do not advocate it. An AFP test, together with imaging studies, may be ordered by a healthcare provider to try to diagnose liver cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.

If a person has been diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma or another type of AFP-producing cancer, an AFP test may be done on a regular basis to assess treatment response and disease recurrence.

When comparing the amount of the AFP variation AFP-L3 to the total amount of AFP, an AFP-L3 percent is occasionally ordered. The AFP-L3 percent test is not extensively used in the United States, but it is becoming more popular in other nations, such as Japan. The test is used to assess the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, particularly in people with chronic liver disease, as well as the response of the cancer to treatment.

What do my Alpha-fetoprotein test results mean?

Increased AFP levels can suggest the presence of cancer, such as liver cancer, ovarian cancer, or testicular germ cell tumors. However, not all cancers of the liver, ovary, or testicles produce substantial amounts of AFP.

Other malignancies, such as stomach, colon, lung, breast, and lymphoma, might sometimes have elevated levels, but it is rarely ordered to check these illnesses. Cirrhosis and hepatitis are two disorders that can generate elevated levels.

When using AFP as a monitoring tool, lower levels suggest a therapeutic response. If concentrations do not considerably drop after cancer therapy, usually to normal or near-normal levels, some tumor tissue may still be present.

If AFP levels start to rise, the cancer is most likely to return. However, because AFP levels can be deceiving in hepatitis or cirrhosis, AFP levels can be misleading. If AFP levels are not raised prior to therapy, the test will not be useful in monitoring treatment effectiveness or detecting recurrence.

People with chronic liver disease have a higher chance of getting liver cancer when their AFP levels rise from normal to moderately raised to significantly elevated. When total AFP and AFP-L3 percent are highly higher, the person is more likely to develop or have hepatocellular carcinoma in the next year or two. In persons with chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, however, both AFP and AFP-L3 percent concentrations might be increased and fluctuate. In these circumstances, a significant increase in AFP is more essential than the test result's numerical value.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: An ALT test is a blood test that is used to screen for and diagnose liver disease.

Also Known As: Alanine Aminotransferase Test, Alanine Transaminase Test, GPT Test, SGPT Test, Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Alanine Transaminase test ordered?

When a person undergoes a standard health examination, ALT may be ordered as part of a full metabolic panel.

When a person has signs and symptoms of a liver problem, a healthcare provider will usually prescribe an ALT test.

Because many people with minor liver damage have no signs or symptoms, ALT may be ordered alone or in combination with other tests for persons who are at an elevated risk for liver disease. With modest liver injury, ALT levels will rise even if there are no other symptoms.

ALT may be ordered on a frequent basis during the course of treatment to establish whether the medication is effective when it is used to monitor the treatment of persons with liver disease.

What does an Alanine Transaminase blood test check for?

Alanine aminotransferase is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. It's also found in much lesser concentrations in the heart and muscles. This test determines the amount of ALT in your blood.

The enzyme ALT converts alanine, a protein amino acid, into pyruvate, an important intermediary in cellular energy production. ALT levels in the blood are low in healthy people. ALT is released into the bloodstream when the liver is injured, frequently before more evident indications of liver injury, such as jaundice, appear. As a result, ALT is a useful test for detecting liver disease early on.

The liver is a critical organ positioned directly behind the rib cage on the upper right side of the abdomen. It is engaged in a variety of vital bodily functions. The liver aids in the digestion of nutrients, creates bile to aid in fat digestion, produces a variety of essential proteins such as blood clotting factors and albumin, and breaks down potentially hazardous compounds into safe substances that the body may utilize or discard.

Damage to liver cells can be caused by a variety of factors, resulting in an elevation in ALT. The test is most useful for detecting damage caused by hepatitis or medications or other toxins that are harmful to the liver.

As part of a liver panel, ALT is frequently tested alongside aspartate aminotransferase, another liver enzyme. When the liver is injured, both ALT and AST levels rise, albeit ALT is more specific for the liver and may be the only one to rise in some circumstances. An AST/ALT ratio can be used to help distinguish between different types of liver injury and their severity, as well as to distinguish liver injury from heart or muscle damage.

Lab tests often ordered with an Alanine Transaminase test:

  • AST
  • ALP
  • GGT
  • Bilirubin
  • Liver Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Albumin
  • Total Protein
  • Prothrombin Time
  • Hepatitis Panel General

Conditions where a an Alanine Transaminase test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholism
  • Wilson Disease
  • Hemochromatosis

How does my health care provider use an Alanine Transaminase test?

The alanine aminotransferase test is commonly used to diagnose liver damage. It's frequently ordered as part of a liver panel or complete metabolic panel with aspartate aminotransferase to screen for and/or diagnose liver disease.

ALT is an enzyme found mostly in liver and kidney cells. ALT is released into the bloodstream when the liver is injured. As a result, ALT is a useful test for detecting liver disease early on.

Although ALT is more specific to the liver than AST, they are both considered to be two of the most significant tests for detecting liver impairment. When AST is directly compared to ALT, an AST/ALT ratio is calculated. This ratio can assist distinguish between different types of liver disease and identify cardiac or muscle harm.

To assess which type of liver illness is present, ALT values are frequently matched to the results of other tests such as alkaline phosphatase, total protein, and bilirubin.

ALT is frequently requested to monitor the therapy of people with liver disease to evaluate if it is effective, and it can be ordered alone or in combination with other tests.

What do my ALT test results mean?

A low ALT level in the blood is normal and anticipated. The most prevalent cause of ALT levels that are higher than normal is liver disease.

Acute hepatitis and viral infections are the most common causes of very elevated ALT values. ALT levels are normally elevated for 1-2 months after acute hepatitis, but they might take up to 3-6 months to return to normal. ALT levels may also be significantly raised as a result of exposure to liver-toxic medications or other chemicals, or in situations that produce reduced blood flow (ischemia) to the liver.

In chronic hepatitis, ALT levels are frequently less than four times normal. Because ALT levels in this scenario regularly fluctuate between normal and slightly elevated, the test may be ordered frequently to observe if a trend emerges. Other reasons of mild ALT elevations include bile duct obstruction, cirrhosis, heart damage, alcohol addiction, and liver cancers.

ALT is frequently used in conjunction with an AST test or as part of a liver panel. See the Liver Panel article for more information on ALT values in relation to other liver tests.

The ALT level is usually greater than the AST level in most forms of liver disorders, and the AST/ALT ratio is low. There are a few exceptions: in alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and heart or muscle injury, the AST/ALT ratio is frequently more than 1, and it may be greater than 1 for a day or two after the onset of acute hepatitis.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


IMPORTANT - The specimen for this test must be collected at a patient service center that can collect, store and transport frozen samples as outlined below.  

IMPORTANT: Before ordering this lab test, check and confirm with the selected patient service center to ensure that they can collect, store and transport frozen samples as outlined below.

Preferred Specimen(s) 

2 mL frozen plasma collected in an EDTA (lavender-top) tube

Collection Instructions 

Collect blood from stasis-free vein of patient (e.g., no tourniquet). Patient should not clench fist during collection, as muscular exertion often increases venous ammonia levels. Patient should avoid smoking prior to phlebotomy since smoking increases plasma ammonia levels. Tubes should be filled completely and kept tightly stoppered at all times. Place immediately on ice. Separate plasma from cells within 20 minutes and freeze plasma immediately.

Transport Temperature 

Frozen

Specimen Stability 

Room temperature: Unstable
Refrigerated: Unstable
Frozen -20° C: 72 hours
Frozen -70° C: 7 days

Reject Criteria 

Hemolysis • Lipemia • Received thawed • PPT Potassium EDTA (white-top) tube

Clinical Significance

Ammonia is one of the by-products of protein metabolism. Elevated blood ammonia levels have been associated with severe liver dysfunction such as hepatic encephalopathy, coma resulting from cirrhosis, severe hepatitis, Reye's syndrome, and drug hepatotoxicity. Also, elevated blood ammonia has been reported in cardiac failure, azotemia, and pulmonary emphysema. Correlation between plasma ammonia and the degree of encephalopathy can be erratic.


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Description: Amylase is a blood test that is used to measure the amount of amylase in the blood’s serum. It is used to assess for and detect a pancreatic disorder.

Also Known As: Amy Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Amylase test ordered?

When a person displays symptoms of a pancreatic disease, a blood amylase test may be conducted.

  • Abdominal or back pain that is severe
  • Fever
  • Appetite loss.
  • Nausea

A urine amylase test may be requested in conjunction with or after a blood amylase test. A health practitioner may conduct one or both of these tests on a regular basis to evaluate the success of treatment and see whether amylase levels are increasing or decreasing over time.

What does an Amylase blood test check for?

Amylase is one of numerous pancreatic enzymes that aid in carbohydrate digestion. This test detects the presence of amylase in the blood.

Amylase is produced from the pancreas into the duodenum, the first region of the small intestine, where it aids in the digestion of carbohydrates. Other organs, including the salivary glands, generate it as well.

Amylase is normally found in modest amounts in the blood and urine. Increased levels of amylase are released into the blood when pancreatic cells are harmed, as in pancreatitis, or when the pancreatic duct is obstructed by a gallstone or, in rare situations, a pancreatic tumor. This raises amylase levels in the blood.

Lab tests often ordered with an Amylase test:

  • Lipase
  • Trypsin
  • Trypsinogen

Conditions where an Amylase test is recommended:

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreatic Diseases
  • Pancreatitis

How does my health care provider use an Amylase test?

An amylase test is used to identify and track acute pancreatitis. It's frequently ordered in conjunction with a lipase test. It can also be used to detect and track chronic pancreatitis and other pancreas-related conditions.

A urine amylase test may be requested as well. Its level will usually correspond to blood amylase concentrations, but the rise and decrease will occur later. A urine creatinine clearance test may be ordered in conjunction with a urine amylase test to determine the ratio of amylase to creatinine filtered by the kidneys. Because poor kidney function might result in a decreased rate of amylase clearance, this ratio is used to assess renal function.

An amylase test on peritoneal fluid may be used to assist diagnose pancreatitis in some instances, such as when there is a buildup of fluid in the abdomen.

Amylase tests are often used to track the progress of pancreatic cancer treatment and after gallstone resection that has resulted in gallbladder attacks.

What do my Amylase test results mean?

A high level of amylase in the blood may suggest the presence of a pancreas problem.

Amylase levels in the blood often rise to 4 to 6 times higher than the highest reference value, also known as the upper limit of normal, in acute pancreatitis. The increase happens within 4 to 8 hours following a pancreas damage and usually lasts until the cause is effectively treated. In a few days, the amylase levels will return to normal.

Amylase levels in chronic pancreatitis are initially fairly increased, although they frequently decline over time as the pancreas deteriorates. Returning to normal levels may not signal that the source of damage has been rectified in this scenario. The size of the amylase rise does not indicate the severity of pancreatic illness.

Amylase levels may also be elevated in persons who have pancreatic duct obstruction or pancreatic cancer.

Urine amylase levels rise in lockstep with blood amylase levels and remain elevated for several days after blood levels have returned to normal.

A high amount of amylase in the peritoneal fluid can indicate acute pancreatitis, but it can also indicate other abdominal problems including a clogged intestine or poor blood supply to the intestines.

A low amylase level in the blood and urine of a person with pancreatitis symptoms could indicate that the amylase-producing cells in the pancreas have been permanently damaged. Reduced levels can also be caused by renal illness or pregnancy toxemia.

Increased blood amylase levels along with normal to low urine amylase levels could indicate the presence of a macroamylase, a harmless compound of amylase and other proteins that builds up in the bloodstream.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: An AST blood test is a test that is used to screen for and diagnose liver disease.

Also Known As: Aspartate Aminotransferase Test, Serum Glutamic-Oxaloacetic Transaminase Test, SGOT Test Transaminase, Serum AST Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Aspartate Aminotransferase test ordered?

When someone undergoes a standard health examination, an AST test may be requested as part of a full metabolic panel.

When a person exhibits indications and symptoms of a liver problem, an AST test may be ordered along with numerous other tests.

Because many persons with minor liver damage have no signs or symptoms, AST may be ordered alone or in combination with other tests for people who are at an elevated risk for liver disease.

When AST is used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for people with liver disease, it may be ordered on a frequent basis during the course of treatment.

What does an Aspartate Aminotransferase blood test check for?

Aspartate aminotransferase is an enzyme found in cells all over the body, but especially in the heart and liver, as well as the kidneys and muscles to a lesser amount. AST levels in the blood are typically low in healthy people. AST is released into the bloodstream when liver or muscle cells are damaged. As a result, AST can be used to detect or monitor liver disease.

The liver is a critical organ found directly behind the rib cage in the upper right side of the abdomen. It is engaged in a variety of vital bodily functions. The liver aids in the digestion of nutrients, creates bile to aid in fat digestion, manufactures numerous vital proteins such as blood clotting factors, and breaks down potentially hazardous compounds into safe substances that the body may utilize or expel.

A variety of disorders can harm liver cells and cause AST levels to rise. The test is most effective in detecting liver damage caused by hepatitis, liver-toxic medications, cirrhosis, or alcoholism. AST, on the other hand, is not particular to the liver and can be elevated in diseases affecting other organs.

Alanine aminotransferase testing is frequently combined with an AST test. When the liver is injured, both of these enzymes become high in the bloodstream. A computed AST/ALT ratio can help distinguish between different types of liver injury and determine whether elevated levels are due to something else, such as a heart or muscle injury.

Lab tests often ordered with an Aspartate Aminotransferase test:

  • GGT
  • ALT
  • ALP
  • Bilirubin
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
  • Albumin
  • Total Protein

Conditions where an Aspartate Aminotransferase test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Alcoholism
  • Cirrhosis
  • Wilson Disease
  • Hemochromatosis

How does my health care provider use an Aspartate Aminotransferase test?

The aspartate aminotransferase blood test is commonly used to identify liver disease. It is frequently ordered in conjunction with alanine aminotransferase, another liver enzyme, or as part of a liver panel or comprehensive metabolic panel to screen for and/or diagnose liver problems.

Although ALT is more specific for the liver than AST and is more usually elevated than AST, both are regarded to be two of the most significant tests for detecting liver impairment. When AST is directly compared to ALT, an AST/ALT ratio is calculated. This ratio can be used to differentiate between different types of liver disease and hepatic harm from heart or muscle damage.

To assess which type of liver illness is present, AST levels are frequently compared to the results of other tests such as alkaline phosphatase, total protein, and bilirubin.

AST is frequently evaluated to monitor the treatment of people with liver disease, and it can be ordered alone or in combination with other tests.

AST is sometimes used to monitor persons who are receiving potentially hazardous drugs for the liver. If the person's AST levels rise, he or she may be moved to another medicine.

What do my AST test results mean?

Low AST levels in the blood are typical and anticipated.

Acute hepatitis and viral infections are the most common causes of very high AST values. AST values are normally elevated for 1-2 months after acute hepatitis, but they might take up to 3-6 months to recover to normal. AST levels can also be significantly high as a result of exposure to liver-toxic medications or other chemicals, as well as situations that produce reduced blood supply to the liver.

AST values are usually lower in chronic hepatitis, generally less than 4 times normal, and are more likely to be normal than ALT levels. With chronic hepatitis, AST levels typically fluctuate between normal and slightly elevated, so the test may be ordered repeatedly to detect the pattern. Other illnesses of the liver, particularly when the bile ducts are clogged, as well as cirrhosis and certain malignancies of the liver, can cause moderate increases. AST can also rise after a heart attack or a muscular damage, although to a far higher extent than ALT.

The AST test is frequently done in conjunction with the ALT test or as part of a liver panel. See the Liver Panel article for more information on AST values in relation to other liver tests.

The ALT level is usually greater than the AST level in most kinds of liver disease, and the AST/ALT ratio is low. There are a few exceptions: in alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatitis C virus-related chronic liver disease, and the first day or two of acute hepatitis or injury from bile duct obstruction, the AST/ALT ratio is frequently elevated. AST levels are generally substantially higher than ALT after cardiac or muscle injury, and they tend to stay higher than ALT for longer than they do after liver injury.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


An increase in serum bile acids concentration in the fasting state or postprandial is considered to be a specific indicator of liver disease. A decreased level indicates bile acid malabsorption, possibly due to ileal dysfunction.

Description: Bilirubin Fractionated is a blood test that is used to screen for or monitor liver disorders, hemolytic anemia, and neonatal jaundice.

Also Known As: Total Bilirubin Test, TBIL Test, Neonatal Bilirubin Test, Direct Bilirubin Test, Conjugated Bilirubin Test, Indirect Bilirubin Test, Unconjugated Bilirubin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Bilirubin, Fractionated test ordered?

When someone shows evidence of abnormal liver function, a doctor will usually request a bilirubin test along with other laboratory tests. A bilirubin test may be ordered when a patient:

  • Evidence of jaundice is visible.
  • Has a history of excessive alcohol consumption
  • Has a possible drug toxicity
  • Has been exposed to viruses that cause hepatitis

Other signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Urine with a dark amber tint.
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Swelling and/or pain in the abdomen
  • Fatigue and malaise which are common symptoms of chronic liver disease.

In babies with jaundice, measuring and monitoring bilirubin is considered routine medical therapy.

When someone is suspected of hemolytic anemia as a cause of anemia, bilirubin tests may be ordered. In this instance, it's frequently ordered in conjunction with other hemolysis-related tests such a complete blood count, reticulocyte count, haptoglobin, and LDH.

What does a Bilirubin, Fractionated blood test check for?

Bilirubin is an orange-yellow pigment that is largely formed as a byproduct of heme degradation. Heme is a component of hemoglobin, a red blood cell protein. Bilirubin is eventually digested by the liver, which allows it to be excreted from the body. This test assesses a person's liver function or aids in the diagnosis of anemias caused by RBC destruction by measuring the quantity of bilirubin in their blood.

After roughly 120 days in circulation, RBCs generally disintegrate. Heme is transformed to bilirubin as it is released from hemoglobin. Unconjugated bilirubin is another name for this type of bilirubin. Proteins transport unconjugated bilirubin to the liver, where sugars are linked to bilirubin to produce conjugated bilirubin. Conjugated bilirubin enters the bile and travels from the liver to the small intestines, where bacteria break it down further before it is excreted in the stool. As a result, bilirubin breakdown products give stool its distinctive brown hue.

A normal, healthy human produces a tiny quantity of bilirubin each day. The majority of bilirubin comes from damaged or degraded RBCs, with the rest coming from bone marrow or the liver. Small amounts of unconjugated bilirubin are normally discharged into the bloodstream, but there is almost no conjugated bilirubin. Laboratory tests can measure or estimate both types, and a total bilirubin result can be presented as well.

A person may appear jaundiced, with yellowing of the skin and/or whites of the eyes, if the bilirubin level in their blood rises. The pattern of bilirubin test results can provide information to the health care provider about the ailment that may be present. When there is an exceptional quantity of RBC destruction or when the liver is unable to handle bilirubin, unconjugated bilirubin levels may rise. Conversely, conjugated bilirubin levels can rise when the liver can process bilirubin but not transmit the conjugated bilirubin to the bile for elimination; this is most commonly caused by acute hepatitis or bile duct blockage.

In the first few days after birth, increased total and unconjugated bilirubin levels are fairly common in infants. This condition is known as "physiologic jaundice of the newborn," and it develops when the liver of a newborn is not yet mature enough to handle bilirubin. Physiologic jaundice in newborns usually goes away after a few days. RBCs may be damaged in newborn hemolytic illness due to blood incompatibility between the infant and the mother; in these circumstances, treatment may be necessary since large amounts of unconjugated bilirubin might harm the newborn's brain.

Increased total and conjugated bilirubin levels in infants can be caused by biliary atresia, an uncommon but life-threatening congenital disease. To avoid catastrophic liver damage that may necessitate liver transplantation during the first few years of life, this problem must be rapidly recognized and treated, usually with surgery. Despite early surgical therapy, some children may require liver transplants.

Lab tests often ordered with a Bilirubin, Fractionated test:

  • CMP
  • ALT
  • ALP
  • AST
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Urinalysis
  • GGT
  • Reticulocyte Count

Conditions where a Bilirubin, Fractionated test is recommended:

  • Jaundice
  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Alcoholism
  • Hemolytic Anemia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Bilirubin, Fractionated test?

A bilirubin test is used to detect an abnormally high quantity of the substance in the blood. It can be used to figure out what's causing your jaundice and/or diagnose illnesses like liver disease, hemolytic anemia, and bile duct blockage.

Bilirubin is an orange-yellow pigment that is largely formed as a byproduct of heme degradation. Heme is a component of hemoglobin, a red blood cell protein. Bilirubin is eventually digested by the liver, which allows it to be excreted from the body. An increased blood level can be caused by any disorder that speeds up the breakdown of RBCs or impairs the processing and elimination of bilirubin.

Laboratory testing can measure or estimate two types of bilirubin:

Unconjugated bilirubin—unconjugated bilirubin is formed when heme is released from hemoglobin. Proteins transport it to the liver. Small levels of the substance may be found in the blood.

Sugars are attached to bilirubin in the liver, resulting in conjugated bilirubin. It enters the bile and travels from the liver to the small intestines before being excreted in the feces. In normal circumstances, there is no conjugated bilirubin in the blood.

A chemical test is usually done to determine the total bilirubin level first. If the total bilirubin level rises, a second chemical test can be used to detect water-soluble forms of bilirubin, known as "direct" bilirubin. The amount of conjugated bilirubin present can be estimated using the direct bilirubin test. The "indirect" amount of unconjugated bilirubin can be estimated by subtracting the direct bilirubin level from the total bilirubin level. The pattern of bilirubin test results can provide information to the healthcare professional about the ailment that may be present.

Bilirubin is measured in adults and older children to:

  • Diagnose and/or monitor liver and bile duct disorders.
  • Evaluate patients with hemolytic anemia
  • Distinguish between the causes of jaundice in babies.

Only unconjugated bilirubin is raised in both physiologic jaundice and hemolytic illness of the infant.

Damage to the newborn's liver from neonatal hepatitis and biliary atresia will also raise conjugated bilirubin concentrations, which is generally the first indication that one of these less common disorders is present.

Because excessive unconjugated bilirubin harms growing brain cells, it is critical to detect and treat an increased amount of bilirubin in a newborn. Mental retardation, learning and developmental impairments, hearing loss, eye movement disorders, and mortality are all possible outcomes of this damage.

What do my bilirubin test results mean?

In adults and children, increased total bilirubin, primarily unconjugated bilirubin, could be caused by:

  • Hemolytic or pernicious anemia are two types of anemia.
  • Reaction to a transfusion
  • Cirrhosis
  • Gilbert syndrome

When conjugated bilirubin levels are higher than unconjugated bilirubin levels, there is usually a problem with bilirubin removal by the liver cells. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Hepatitis caused by a virus
  • Reactions to drugs
  • Alcoholic hepatitis

When the bile ducts are blocked, conjugated bilirubin is raised more than unconjugated bilirubin. This can happen, for example, when:

  • In the bile ducts, there are gallstones.
  • Damaging of the bile ducts due to tumors

Increased bilirubin levels can also be caused by rare hereditary illnesses that involve aberrant bilirubin metabolism, such as Rotor, Dubin-Johnson, and Crigler-Najjar syndromes.

Low bilirubin levels are usually not a cause for worry and are not monitored.

A newborn's high bilirubin level may be transient and diminish within a few days to two weeks. However, if the bilirubin level exceeds a crucial threshold or rises rapidly, the cause must be investigated so that appropriate treatment can be started. Increased bilirubin levels can be caused by the rapid breakdown of red blood cells as a result of:

  • Incompatibility of the mother's blood type with that of her child
  • Infections that are present at birth
  • oxygen deficiency
  • Liver disease

Only unconjugated bilirubin is elevated in most of these disorders. In the rare disorders of biliary atresia and newborn hepatitis, increased conjugated bilirubin is found. To avoid liver damage, biliary atresia necessitates surgical surgery.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Measurement of the levels of bilirubin is used in the diagnosis and treatment of liver, hemolytic, hematologic, and metabolic disorders, including hepatitis and gallbladder obstructive disease.

Description: A BUN/Creatinine ratio test is a blood test that measures levels of Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine in your blood and is useful in the diagnosis of renal disease.

Also Known As: Urea Nitrogen and Creatinine Ratio test, BUN test, Urea test, Urea Nitrogen test, Creat test, Blood Creatinine Test, Serum Creatinine Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a BUN Creatinine Ratio test ordered?

BUN is a component of the BMP and CMP, two categories of widely-used tests:

  • as part of a regular health examination
  • prior to beginning the use of specific pharmacological therapy, determine how well the kidneys are functioning.
  • When a patient who is critically ill visits the emergency room or is admitted to the hospital

When kidney problems are suspected during a hospital stay, BUN is frequently ordered along with creatinine or a renal panel. Kidney dysfunction can show several indications and symptoms, such as:

  • fatigue, inability to focus, poor appetite, or difficulty sleeping
  • Swelling or puffiness, especially in the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs, or ankles or around the eyes
  • Foamy, bloody, or coffee-colored urine
  • a reduction in the urine's volume
  • problems urinating, such as a burning sensation or an unusual discharge, or a change in frequency, particularly at night
  • discomfort in the middle of the back, below the ribs, and next to the kidneys
  • elevated blood pressure

BUN may also be required for:

  • Patients with long-term illnesses or conditions like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and myocardial infarction should have regular kidney function checks.
  • monitoring renal function and treatment at frequent intervals in individuals with known kidney disease
  • Monitoring kidney function both before and after taking specific medications
  • When a CT scan is anticipated, furthermore to a creatinine
  • periodically to check on the efficiency of the dialysis

During a health examination, a routine metabolic panel that includes creatinine may be ordered. It might be prescribed if a patient is critically ill or if a doctor has reason to believe that their kidneys aren't functioning properly. Kidney dysfunction can show several indications and symptoms, such as:

  • fatigue, inability to focus, poor appetite, or difficulty sleeping
  • Swelling or puffiness, especially in the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs, or ankles, or around the eyes
  • Foamy, bloody, or coffee-colored urine
  • a reduction in the urine's volume
  • problems urinating, such as a burning sensation or an unusual discharge, or a change in frequency, particularly at night
  • discomfort in the middle of the back, below the ribs, and next to the kidneys
  • elevated blood pressure

When a person has a known kidney ailment or a condition that could impair kidney function, a creatinine blood test may be prescribed along with a BUN test, urine albumin, and other tests on a regular basis. When a CT scan is anticipated, before and throughout some medication regimens, as well as before and after dialysis, both BUN and creatinine may be requested to check the efficacy of treatments.

What does a BUN Creatinine Ratio test check for?

When protein is broken down into its constituent parts in the liver, urea is produced as a waste product. Ammonia is created during this process, and it is later changed into the less harmful waste product urea. This examination counts the urea nitrogen levels in the blood.

Ammonia and urea both contain nitrogen as an ingredient. Because urea contains nitrogen and because the body excretes excess nitrogen via urea/urea nitrogen, the terms urea and urea nitrogen are sometimes used interchangeably. The liver releases urea into the blood, which travels to the kidneys where it is removed from the circulation and discharged as urine. Since this is a continuous process, urea nitrogen levels in the blood are typically low and steady.

The majority of illnesses or ailments that affect the liver or kidneys have the potential to have an impact on the blood's urea content. Urea concentrations in the blood will increase if the liver produces more urea or if the kidneys are not functioning properly and are having trouble removing wastes from the blood. BUN values may decrease if severe liver illness or injury prevents the synthesis of urea.

Muscles release creatinine as a waste product after breaking down a substance called creatine. The kidneys eliminate creatinine from the body by filtering nearly all of it from the blood and releasing it into the urine. The creatinine level in the blood and/or urine is determined by this test.

The process that creates the energy required to contract muscles includes creatine. The body produces both creatine and creatinine at a fairly steady rate. Blood levels are typically a good indication of how well the kidneys are functioning since the kidneys filter almost all of the creatinine from the blood and release it into the urine. The amount created is influenced by a person's size and muscular mass. As a result, men's creatinine levels will be a little bit greater than those of women and children.

Calculations that are used to assess kidney function can be done using data from a blood creatinine test in conjunction with data from other tests, including a 24-hour urine creatinine test.

Lab tests often ordered with a BUN Creatinine Ratio test:

  • Urine Protein
  • eGFR
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Cystatin C
  • Renal Panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Microalbumin
  • Beta-2 Microglobin

Conditions where a BUN Creatinine Ratio test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Proteinuria

How does my health care provider use a BUN Creatinine Ratio test?

The creatinine test and blood urea nitrogen tests are primarily used to assess kidney function under various conditions, aid in the diagnosis of kidney illness, and keep track of persons who have either acute or chronic renal failure or dysfunction. When requested as a component of a renal panel, basic metabolic panel, or comprehensive metabolic panel, it may also be used to assess a person's overall health state.

When protein is digested in the liver, urea is produced as a waste product. The liver releases urea into the blood, which travels to the kidneys where it is removed from the circulation and discharged as urine. Since this is a continuous process, urea nitrogen levels in the blood are typically low and steady. However, the level of urea in the blood will increase if the kidneys become diseased or damaged and are unable to remove waste products from the blood.

The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs that are situated on the right and left sides of the back at the base of the ribcage. They include around a million nephrons, which are very small blood filtering organs. Blood is continuously filtered via a glomerulus, a tiny collection of looping blood arteries, in each nephron. Water and tiny molecules can pass through the glomerulus, while blood cells and bigger molecules are retained. Each glomerulus has a little tube attached to it that gathers the fluid and molecules that flow through it and reabsorbs what the body can use. Urine is created by the leftover waste.

Creatinine and BUN tests may be performed to monitor for renal dysfunction and the efficacy of treatment if the results are abnormal or if a person has an underlying condition known to impact the kidneys, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Before some procedures, such a CT scan, that can call for the use of medications that can harm the kidneys, such as creatinine and BUN tests in the blood may also be prescribed to assess renal function.

What do my BUN Creatinine Ratio test results mean?

BUN levels that are higher indicate poor renal health. This could be brought on by failure, injury, or acute or chronic renal disease. A condition that reduces blood flow to the kidneys, such as congestive heart failure, shock, stress, a recent heart attack, or serious burns, as well as conditions that impede urine flow or dehydration, may also be to blame.

When there is excessive protein breakdown, a considerable rise in the amount of protein in the diet, or gastrointestinal bleeding, BUN values may be increased.

Low BUN levels are rare and typically not reason for alarm. The BUN test is not typically used to diagnose or monitor these disorders, but they may appear in severe liver illness, malnutrition, and occasionally when a person is overhydrated.

BUN values may be normal even in the presence of substantial malfunction in the other kidney if one kidney is fully functional.

Blood creatinine levels that are higher than normal point to renal disease or other disorders that have an impact on kidney function. These may consist of:

For instance, infections or autoimmune illnesses can cause kidney blood vessels to enlarge or become damaged.

  • infection of the kidneys with bacteria
  • death of kidney cells brought on by chemicals or medications, for instance, in the tiny tubes of the kidneys
  • Urinary tract obstruction can be brought on by prostate disease, kidney stones, or other conditions.
  • reduced renal blood flow brought on by shock, dehydration, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, or diabetes-related problems

Although they are uncommon, low blood creatinine levels are often not a cause for alarm. They can be observed in diseases that cause a loss of muscular mass.

As part of a creatinine clearance test, 24-hour urine creatinine levels are compared to blood levels.

There are no established reference ranges for single, random urine creatinine values. They are typically used in conjunction with other exams to compare levels of other chemicals detected in urine. The urine albumin test, the urine albumin/creatinine ratio, and the urine protein test are a few examples.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The CRP test is used to identify and/or monitor inflammation in patients.

Also Known As: CRP Test, Inflammation test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a C-Reactive Protein test ordered?

When a person's medical history and signs and symptoms indicate that they may have a significant bacterial infection, a CRP test may be recommended. When a newborn displays signs of infection or when a person has sepsis symptoms including fever, chills, and rapid breathing and heart rate, it may be ordered.

It's also commonly requested on a regular basis to check illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and it's routinely repeated to see if medication is working. This is especially effective for inflammation issues because CRP levels decrease as inflammation decreases.

What does a C-Reactive Protein blood test check for?

C-reactive protein is a protein produced by the liver and released into the bloodstream within a few hours following tissue injury, infection, or other inflammatory event. After trauma or a heart attack, with active or uncontrolled autoimmune illnesses, and with acute bacterial infections like sepsis, markedly higher levels are reported. CRP levels can rise by a thousand-fold in response to inflammatory diseases, and their elevation in the blood can occur before pain, fever, or other clinical signs. The test detects inflammation caused by acute situations or monitors disease activity in chronic diseases by measuring the level of CRP in the blood.

The CRP test is not a diagnostic tool, although it can tell a doctor if inflammation is occurring. This information can be combined with other indicators like signs and symptoms, a physical exam, and other tests to establish whether someone has an acute inflammatory disorder or is having a flare-up of a chronic inflammatory disease. The health care provider may next do additional tests and treatment.

This CRP test should not be confused with the hs-CRP test. These are two separate CRP tests, each of which measures a different range of CRP levels in the blood for different purposes.

Lab tests often ordered with a C-Reactive Protein test:

  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • Procalcitonin
  • ANA
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • Complement

Conditions where a C-Reactive Protein test is recommended:

  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Sepsis
  • Vasculitis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Meningitis and Encephalitis

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a C-Reactive Protein test?

A health practitioner uses the C-reactive protein test to diagnose inflammation. CRP is an acute phase reactant, a protein produced by the liver and released into the bloodstream within a few hours following tissue injury, infection, or other inflammatory event. The CRP test is not a diagnostic test for any ailment, but it can be used in conjunction with other tests to determine whether a person has an acute or chronic inflammatory disorder.

CRP, for example, can be used to detect or track substantial inflammation in someone who is suspected of having an acute ailment like:

  • Sepsis is a dangerous bacterial infection.
  • An infection caused by a fungus
  • Inflammation of the pelvis

People with chronic inflammatory diseases can use the CRP test to detect flare-ups and/or see if their medication is working. Here are a few examples:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Arthritis, which can take many forms.
  • Autoimmune disorders, examples include lupus and vasculitis

CRP is occasionally requested in conjunction with an erythrocyte sedimentation rate, another inflammatory test. While the CRP test is not specific enough to diagnose an illness, it does serve as a broad marker for infection and inflammation, alerting doctors to the need for more testing and treatment. A variety of additional tests may be used to determine the source of inflammation, depending on the probable cause.

What do my C-Reactive Protein test results mean?

CRP levels in the blood are usually low.

CRP levels in the blood that are high or rising indicate the existence of inflammation, but they don't tell you where it is or what's causing it. A high CRP level can establish the presence of a severe bacterial infection in people who are suspected of having one. High levels of CRP in persons with chronic inflammatory disorders indicate a flare-up or that treatment isn't working.

When the CRP level rises and then falls, it indicates that the inflammation or infection is diminishing and/or responding to treatment.

Is there anything else I should know about C-Reactive Protein?

CRP levels can rise during pregnancy, as well as with the use of birth control tablets or hormone replacement therapy. Obese people have also been found to have higher CRP levels.

In the presence of inflammation, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate test will also rise; however, CRP rises first and then falls faster than the ESR.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: CA 19-9 is a cancer antigen test that is testing for a protein that exists on the surface of certain cancer cells. The CA 19-9 test can be used to measure the level of these proteins in the blood and is useful as a tumor marker.

Also Known As: Carbohydrate Antigen (CA) 19-9 Test, Cancer Antigen 19-9 Test, Cancer Antigen (CA) 19-9, Carbohydrate Antigen 19-9 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CA 19-9 test ordered?

When a person has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer or has signs and symptoms that could indicate pancreatic cancer, CA 19-9 may be ordered. Early warning signs and symptoms can be vague and ambiguous.

If CA 19-9 levels are initially increased in pancreatic cancer, a series of CA 19-9 tests may be conducted to assess response during therapy and on a frequent basis after treatment to assist detect recurrence.

When a healthcare practitioner suspects bile duct cancer in a person with a bile duct obstruction, CA 19-9 may be prescribed. CA 19-9 levels can spike due to non-cancerous reasons of bile duct obstruction, but they drop once the blockage is addressed. In these circumstances, re-checking CA 19-9 levels should be done at least a week or two after the blockage has been cleared.

What does a CA 19-9 blood test check for?

The protein cancer antigen 19-9 is found on the surface of some cancer cells. CA 19-9 does not cause cancer; rather, it is emitted by tumor cells and can be discovered in blood and other bodily fluids by laboratory tests. The level of CA19-9 is measured in this test.

Because CA 19-9 can be tested in the blood, it can be used as a tumor marker to track the progression of cancer. CA 19-9 levels are high in 70% to 95% of persons with advanced pancreatic cancer.

CA 19-9 levels may also be elevated in cancers of the gallbladder and bile ducts, colorectal cancer, gastric cancers, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, pancreatitis, thyroid disease, and liver disease, among other cancers, conditions, and diseases. CA 19-9 is found in trace levels in the blood of healthy humans. CA 19-9 cannot be utilized for screening or diagnosis by itself because it is not specific for pancreatic cancer.

Lab tests often ordered with a CA 19-9 test:

  • Bilirubin
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Hepatic Function Panel
  • Tumor Markers

Conditions where a CA 19-9 test is recommended:

  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Gastric Cancers
  • Lung Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Liver Cancer
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Liver Disease

How does my health care provider use a CA 19-9 test?

The CA 19-9 test, along with other tests like carcinoembryonic antigen, bilirubin, and/or a liver panel, can be used to evaluate and monitor someone who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is having treatment.

CA 19-9 can only be utilized as a tumor marker if it is produced in large amounts by the malignancy. CA 19-9 may be ordered to help evaluate and monitor persons with bile duct cancer because it is high in roughly 65 percent of those with this type of cancer.

The CA 19-9 test is insufficiently sensitive and specific to be used as a cancer screening test. Because non-cancerous diseases can induce elevated CA 19-9 levels, it is not yet effective for detection or diagnosis. Researchers are still looking at markers that can be used alone or in combination with CA 19-9 to help diagnose and screen for pancreatic cancer in its early stages, when it is most curable.

What do my CA 19-9 test results mean?

Healthy persons have low levels of CA 19-9, although numerous illnesses that affect the liver or pancreas can induce transitory spikes.

People with pancreatic cancer, other malignancies, and a variety of other diseases and ailments may have moderate to high levels. CA 19-9 levels are higher in cancers of the exocrine pancreas. This cancer develops in the tissues that manufacture food-digesting enzymes, as well as in the ducts that transport those enzymes to the small intestine. This kind of pancreatic cancer accounts for approximately 95% of all pancreatic cancers.

CA 19-9 levels that rise and then diminish over time may indicate that the treatment is functioning and/or that the malignancy was successfully removed during surgery. Levels that stay high or rise over time could suggest that treatment isn't working and/or that the cancer is reoccurring.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Low levels of fibrinogen are associated with bleeding most commonly secondary to liver disease or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Fibrinogen is an acute phase reactant and thus elevated levels may be associated with inflammation. Increased concentrations are also associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis.

Serum Triglyceride analysis has proven useful in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus, nephrosis, liver obstruction, other diseases involving lipid metabolism, and various endocrine disorders. In conjunction with high density lipoprotein and total serum cholesterol, a triglyceride determination provides valuable information for the assessment of coronary heart disease risk.

Description: A Vitamin D test is a blood test used to determine if you have a Vitamin D deficiency and to monitor Vitamin D levels if you are on supplementation.

Also Known As: Ergocalciferol Test, Vitamin D2 Test, Cholecalciferol Test, Vitamin D3 Test, Calcidiol Test, 25-hydroxyvitamin D Test, Calcifidiol Test, 25-hydroxy-vitamin D Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: Fasting preferred, but not required.

When is a Vitamin D test ordered:

When calcium levels are inadequate and/or a person exhibits symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, such as rickets in children and bone weakening, softness, or fracture in adults, 25-hydroxyvitamin D is frequently ordered to rule out a vitamin D deficit.

When a person is suspected of having a vitamin D deficiency, the test may be requested. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in older folks, people who are institutionalized or homebound and/or have minimal sun exposure, people who are obese, have had gastric bypass surgery, and/or have fat malabsorption. People with darker skin and breastfed babies are also included in this category.

Before starting osteoporosis medication, 25-hydroxyvitamin D is frequently requested.

What does a Vitamin D blood test check for?

Vitamin D is a group of chemicals that are necessary for the healthy development and growth of teeth and bones. The level of vitamin D in the blood is determined by this test.

Vitamin D is tested in the blood in two forms: 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. The primary form of vitamin D found in the blood is 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is a relatively inactive precursor to the active hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D. 25-hydroxyvitamin D is routinely evaluated to assess and monitor vitamin D status in humans due to its longer half-life and higher concentration.

Endogenous vitamin D is created in the skin when exposed to sunshine, whereas exogenous vitamin D is taken through foods and supplements. Vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 have somewhat different molecular structures. Fortified foods, as well as most vitamin preparations and supplements, include the D2 form. The type of vitamin D3 produced by the body is also used in some supplements. When the liver and kidneys convert vitamin D2 and D3 into the active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, they are equally effective.

Some tests may not differentiate between the D2 and D3 forms of vitamin D and just report the total result. Newer methods, on the other hand, may record D2 and D3 levels separately and then sum them up to get a total level.

Vitamin D's major function is to assist balance calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium levels in the blood. Vitamin D is necessary for bone growth and health; without it, bones become fragile, misshapen, and unable to mend themselves properly, leading to disorders such as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Vitamin D has also been proven to influence the growth and differentiation of a variety of other tissues, as well as to aid in immune system regulation. Other illnesses, such as autoimmune and cancer, have been linked to vitamin D's other roles.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of the US population has adequate vitamin D, while one-quarter is at risk of inadequate vitamin D and 8% is at risk of insufficiency, as defined by the Institute of Medicine's Dietary Reference Intake.

The elderly or obese, persons who don't receive enough sun exposure, people with darker skin, and people who take certain drugs for lengthy periods of time are all at risk of insufficiency. Adequate sun exposure is usually defined as two intervals of 5-20 minutes each week. Vitamin D can be obtained through dietary sources or supplements by people who do not get enough sun exposure.

This test has 3 Biomarkers

  • Vitamin D Total which is a combined measurement of Vitamin D, 25-Oh, D2 and Vitamin 25-Oh, D3
  • Vitamin D, 25-Oh, D2 which is a measurement of ergocalciferol Vitamin D, which is Vitamin D obtained through plant sources. 
  • Vitamin D, 25-Oh, D3 which is a measurement of cholecalciferol Vitamin D, which is Vitamin D obtained through animal sources.

Lab tests often ordered with a Vitamin D test:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • CMP
  • Iron and TIBC
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • PTH
  • Magnesium

Conditions where a Vitamin D test is recommended:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lymphoma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Celiac Disease
  • Malabsorption
  • Malnutrition

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Vitamin D test?

Determine whether a deficit or excess of vitamin D is causing bone weakening, deformity, or improper calcium metabolism.

Because PTH is required for vitamin D activation, it can aid in diagnosing or monitoring problems with parathyroid gland function.

Because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is absorbed from the intestine like a fat, it can help monitor the health of people with conditions that interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn's disease.

People who have had gastric bypass surgery and may not be able to absorb adequate vitamin D should be closely monitored.

When vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and/or magnesium supplementation is suggested, it can help assess the success of the treatment.

What do my Vitamin D results result mean?

Despite the fact that vitamin D techniques differ, most laboratories use the same reference intervals. Because toxicity is uncommon, researchers have focused on the lower limit and what cut-off for total 25-hydroxyvitamin D shortage implies.

A low blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D could indicate that a person isn't getting enough sunlight or dietary vitamin D to meet his or her body's needs, or that there's an issue with absorption from the intestines. Seizure medications, notably phenytoin, might occasionally interfere with the liver's generation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

Vitamin D insufficiency has been linked to an increased risk of some malignancies, immunological illnesses, and cardiovascular disease.

Excessive supplementation with vitamin pills or other nutritional supplements frequently results in a high level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


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Description: CEA is a test that measures the levels of carcinoembryonic antigens in the blood. It is used to evaluate a person who has been diagnosed with cancer. The levels of CEA maybe elevated with certain types of cancer.

Also Known As: Carcinoembryonic antigen Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a CEA test ordered?

When a person is diagnosed with colon cancer or another type of cancer, a CEA test may be ordered. It will be evaluated before treatment begins and subsequently on a frequent basis to assess treatment success and detect recurrence.

When cancer is suspected but not yet diagnosed, a CEA test may be conducted. Although CEA can be increased with a variety of illnesses, this is not a popular usage for the test, it may provide additional information to a healthcare practitioner.

When a healthcare practitioner suspects that a cancer has metastasized, a CEA test may be conducted on a fluid other than blood.

What does a CEA blood test check for?

Carcinoembryonic antigen is a protein found in the developing tissues of a fetus. It drops to a very low level by the time a baby is delivered. CEA is generally seen in extremely low amounts in the blood of people, but it can be raised in cancer patients. This test examines the quantity of CEA in the blood to aid in the evaluation of cancer patients.

CEA is a tumor indicator. CEA was once assumed to be a particular marker for colon cancer, however subsequent research has revealed that an elevation in CEA can be detected in a variety of malignancies. Non-cancer disorders such as inflammation, cirrhosis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, rectal polyps, emphysema, and benign breast disease, as well as smokers, can cause an increase in CEA. As a result, it is ineffective as a general cancer screening tool, although it does play a role in assessing cancer therapy response. An initial CEA baseline test may be performed after a person has been diagnosed with cancer. If this level is raised, serial CEA testing may be used to track the cancer's progress as the patient receives treatment.

Lab tests often ordered with a CEA test:

  • Tumor Markers
  • CSF Analysis
  • Body Fluid Analysis
  • CA 19-9
  • Calcitonin
  • Alpha Fetoprotein
  • Antiphospholipid Antibodies

Conditions where a CEA test is recommended:

  • Colon Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

How does my health care provider use a CEA test?

The carcinoembryonic antigen test can be utilized in the following situations:

  • To keep track of the treatment of persons who have been diagnosed with colon cancer. It can also be used as a marker for rectum, lung, breast, liver, pancreatic, stomach, and ovary malignancies. Prior to therapy, a CEA test is usually ordered as a "baseline" measurement. If the level is high, the test can be used to track a patient's response to treatment and see if the cancer has advanced or returned.
  • Cancer staging entails determining the size of the tumor as well as the extent to which it has spread.
  • CEA testing in a bodily fluid sample can help doctors figure out if cancer has progressed to a body cavity like the chest or abdomen.
  • In the examination of cancer, a CEA test can be performed in conjunction with other tumor markers.

CEA is not produced by all malignancies, therefore a positive CEA test does not always indicate cancer.

What do my CEA test results mean?

Monitoring treatment and recurrence: CEA levels that are first raised but later return to normal following treatment indicate that the cancer has been successfully treated. The first symptom of tumor recurrence is frequently a progressively rising CEA level.

Staging: People with smaller and early-stage tumors are more likely to have a normal or slightly raised CEA score on initial testing. A high CEA value is more probable in people with larger tumors, later-stage cancer, or cancers that have disseminated throughout the body.

Testing for metastasis: If CEA is found in a bodily fluid other than blood, the cancer has most likely migrated to that part of the body. If CEA is found in CSF fluid, for example, it could suggest that cancer has spread to the central nervous system.

Because not all malignancies produce CEA, it's possible to have cancer and a normal CEA at the same time. The test will be useless as a surveillance tool if a malignancy does not produce CEA.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Most Popular

Description: Ceruloplasmin is a blood test that measures that amount of Ceruloplasmin in the blood’s serum. Ceruloplasmin, or Copper Oxide, is a protein that is created in the liver and is used to transport copper from the liver to the parts of the body that need it, including the blood.

Also Known As: Copper Oxide Test, Wilson’s Disease Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Ceruloplasmin test ordered?

When somebody has symptoms that a health practitioner suspects are due to Wilson disease, a ceruloplasmin test may be ordered alone or in combination with blood and 24-hour urine copper testing.

What does a Ceruloplasmin blood test check for?

Ceruloplasmin is a copper-containing enzyme that aids in iron metabolism in the body. The level of ceruloplasmin in the blood is measured with this test.

Copper is a vital mineral that regulates iron metabolism, connective tissue creation, cellular energy production, and nervous system function. The intestines absorb it from meals and liquids, and it is subsequently transferred to the liver, where it is stored or used to make a variety of enzymes.

To make ceruloplasmin, the liver binds copper to a protein and then releases it into the bloodstream. Ceruloplasmin binds about 95 percent of the copper in the blood. As a result, the ceruloplasmin test can be performed in conjunction with one or more copper tests to assist diagnose Wilson disease, a genetic illness in which the liver, brain, and other organs store too much copper.

Lab tests often ordered with a Ceruloplasmin test:

  • Copper

Conditions where a Ceruloplasmin test is recommended:

  • Wilson’s Disease
  • Liver Diseases

How does my health care provider use a Ceruloplasmin test?

Wilson disease is a rare genetic ailment characterized by excessive copper accumulation in the liver, brain, and other organs, as well as low levels of ceruloplasmin. Ceruloplasmin testing is performed in conjunction with blood and/or urine copper assays to assist diagnosis Wilson disease.

Copper is a mineral that plays an important role in the human body. Ceruloplasmin binds about 95 percent of the copper in the blood. In an unbound state, just a minimal quantity of copper is present in the blood.

A ceruloplasmin test may be ordered in conjunction with a copper test to assist diagnose problems in copper metabolism, copper deficiency, or Menkes kinky hair syndrome, a rare genetic condition.

What do my Ceruloplasmin test results mean?

Ceruloplasmin levels are frequently tested in conjunction with copper testing because they are not indicative of a specific illness.

Wilson disease can be identified by low ceruloplasmin and blood copper levels, as well as high copper levels in the urine.

About 5% of persons with Wilson disease who have neurological symptoms, as well as up to 40% of those with hepatic symptoms, especially if they are critically unwell, will have normal ceruloplasmin levels.

The person tested may have a copper deficiency if ceruloplasmin, urine, and/or blood copper values are low.

Anything that affects the body's ability to metabolize copper or the supply of copper has the potential to impact blood ceruloplasmin and copper levels.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: The CH50 blood test is a screening test used to measure total complement activity in your blood’s serum.

Also Known As: CH50 Test, Total Complement Test, Complement Activity Test, Total Complement Activity Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Complement Total test ordered?

When a person exhibits inexplicable edema, inflammation, or indications of an autoimmune condition like SLE, complement testing may be mandated. It may also be requested when a medical professional wants to assess the complement system of a patient who they suspect may have an immune complex-related disease.

When the total complement activity is abnormal, individual complement components may be ordered to help identify which ones are lacking or defective.

Complement testing may be used to provide a general assessment of the severity of an acute or chronic ailment after a diagnosis, with the underlying supposition that the severity is related to the decline in complement levels. Occasionally, a doctor may also request complement testing to keep track of the progression of a problem.

What does a Complement Total blood test check for?

Over 30 blood proteins make up the intricate complement system, which functions to support inflammatory and immunological responses. Its main function is to eliminate invading infections like viruses and bacteria. The body's production of antibodies against its own tissues, which occurs in autoimmune disorders, can also cause the complement system to become active. The amount or activity of complement proteins in the blood is measured by complement assays.

A component of the body's innate immune system is the complement system. The innate immune system is non-specific and rapid to react to external molecules, in contrast to the acquired immune system, which generates antibodies that target and defend against specific threats. It does not require prior exposure to an invasive drug or bacterium and does not keep track of prior interactions.

The primary complement proteins are numbered C1 through C9. There are nine of them. Together with the remaining proteins, these elements produce complexes that react to infections, non-self tissues, dead cells, or inflammation by activating, amplifying, breaking apart, and generating complexes.

Lab tests often ordered with a Complement Total test:

  • Sed Rate
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • ANA Screen
  • Antibody Screen

Conditions where a Complement Total test is recommended:

  • Liver Disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosis
  • Bacterial Endocarditis
  • Leukemia
  • Hodgkin’s Disease
  • Sarcoma
  • Behcet’s Disease

How does my health care provider use a Complement Total test?

When a person has a disease or illness, complement tests are done to evaluate whether deficiencies or abnormalities in the complement system are the root cause or a contributing factor. In order to assess the overall integrity of the classical complement pathway, total complement activity may be ordered. To check for deficits, additional complement components are obtained if necessary.

What do my Complement Total test results mean?

It's possible for complement levels to drop as a result of greater intake or, less frequently, a congenital deficiency. A high incidence of recurrent microbial infections is typically caused by a hereditary defect in one of the complement proteins. Reduced complement levels are linked to a higher risk of autoimmune disease development.

Complement levels will typically return to normal if the underlying acute or chronic ailment can be treated if the deficiency is brought on by one of these.

During acute or chronic inflammation, complement protein levels typically rise together with those of other unrelated proteins known as acute phase reactants. When the underlying illness is treated, all of these often return to normal. Comparatively to the frequently ordered C-reactive protein (CRP), complement proteins are less frequently assessed in these circumstances; hence, the value of their testing in these circumstances is not discussed here.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.


Description: A CBC or Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets test is a blood test that measures many important features of your blood’s red and white blood cells and platelets. A Complete Blood Count can be used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide variety of conditions such as infection, anemia, and leukemia. It also looks at other important aspects of your blood health such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. 

Also Known As: CBC test, Complete Blood Count Test, Total Blood Count Test, CBC with Differential and Platelets test, Hemogram test  

Collection Method: Blood Draw 

Specimen Type: Whole Blood 

Test Preparation: No preparation required 

When is a Complete Blood Count test ordered?  

The complete blood count (CBC) is an extremely common test. When people go to the doctor for a standard checkup or blood work, they often get a CBC. Suppose a person is healthy and their results are within normal ranges. In that case, they may not need another CBC unless their health condition changes, or their healthcare professional believes it is necessary. 

When a person exhibits a variety of signs and symptoms that could be connected to blood cell abnormalities, a CBC may be done. A health practitioner may request a CBC to help diagnose and determine the severity of lethargy or weakness, as well as infection, inflammation, bruises, or bleeding. 

When a person is diagnosed with a disease that affects blood cells, a CBC is frequently done regularly to keep track of their progress. Similarly, if someone is being treated for a blood condition, a CBC may be performed on a regular basis to see if the treatment is working. 

Chemotherapy, for example, can influence the generation of cells in the bone marrow. Some drugs can lower WBC counts in the long run. To monitor various medication regimens, a CBC may be required on a regular basis. 

What does a Complete Blood Count test check for? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test that determines the number of cells in circulation. White blood cells (WBCs), red blood cells (RBCs), and platelets (PLTs) are three types of cells suspended in a fluid called plasma. They are largely created and matured in the bone marrow and are released into the bloodstream when needed under normal circumstances. 

A CBC is mainly performed with an automated machine that measures a variety of factors, including the number of cells present in a person's blood sample. The findings of a CBC can reveal not only the quantity of different cell types but also the physical properties of some of the cells. 

Significant differences in one or more blood cell populations may suggest the presence of one or more diseases. Other tests are frequently performed to assist in determining the reason for aberrant results. This frequently necessitates visual confirmation via a microscope examination of a blood smear. A skilled laboratory technician can assess the appearance and physical features of blood cells, such as size, shape, and color, and note any anomalies. Any extra information is taken note of and communicated to the healthcare provider. This information provides the health care provider with further information about the cause of abnormal CBC results. 

The CBC focuses on three different types of cells: 

WBCs (White Blood Cells) 

The body uses five different types of WBCs, also known as leukocytes, to keep itself healthy and battle infections and other types of harm. The five different leukocytes are eosinophiles, lymphocytes, neutrophiles, basophils, and monocytes. They are found in relatively steady numbers in the blood. Depending on what is going on in the body, these values may momentarily rise or fall. An infection, for example, can cause the body to manufacture more neutrophils in order to combat bacterial infection. The amount of eosinophils in the body may increase as a result of allergies. A viral infection may cause an increase in lymphocyte production. Abnormal (immature or mature) white cells multiply fast in certain illness situations, such as leukemia, raising the WBC count. 

RBCs (Red Blood Cells) 

The bone marrow produces red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, which are transferred into the bloodstream after maturing. Hemoglobin, a protein that distributes oxygen throughout the body, is found in these cells. Because RBCs have a 120-day lifespan, the bone marrow must constantly manufacture new RBCs to replace those that have aged and disintegrated or have been lost due to hemorrhage. A variety of diseases, including those that cause severe bleeding, can alter the creation of new RBCs and their longevity. 

The CBC measures the number of RBCs and hemoglobin in the blood, as well as the proportion of RBCs in the blood (hematocrit), and if the RBC population appears to be normal. RBCs are generally homogeneous in size and shape, with only minor differences; however, considerable variances can arise in illnesses including vitamin B12 and folate inadequacy, iron deficiency, and a range of other ailments. Anemia occurs when the concentration of red blood cells and/or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood falls below normal, resulting in symptoms such as weariness and weakness. In a far smaller percentage of cases, there may be an excess of RBCs in the blood (erythrocytosis or polycythemia). This might obstruct the flow of blood through the tiny veins and arteries in extreme circumstances. 

Platelets 

Platelets, also known as thrombocytes, are small cell fragments that aid in the regular clotting of blood. A person with insufficient platelets is more likely to experience excessive bleeding and bruises. Excess platelets can induce excessive clotting or excessive bleeding if the platelets are not operating properly. The platelet count and size are determined by the CBC. 

Lab tests often ordered with a Complete Blood Count test: 

  • Reticulocytes
  • Iron and Total Iron Binding Capacity
  • Basic Metabolic Panel
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • Lipid Panel
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate
  • Prothrombin with INR and Partial Thromboplastin Times
  • Sed Rate (ESR)
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Von Willebrand Factor Antigen

Conditions where a Complete Blood Count test is recommended: 

  • Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Thalassemia
  • Leukemia
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Bleeding Disorders
  • Inflammation
  • Epstein-Barr Virus
  • Mononucleosis

Commonly Asked Questions: 

How does my health care provider use a Complete Blood Count test? 

The complete blood count (CBC) is a common, comprehensive screening test used to measure a person's overall health status.  

What do my Complete Blood Count results mean? 

A low Red Blood Cell Count, also known as anemia, could be due many different causes such as chronic bleeding, a bone marrow disorder, and nutritional deficiency just to name a few. A high Red Blood Cell Count, also known as polycythemia, could be due to several conditions including lung disease, dehydration, and smoking. Both Hemoglobin and Hematocrit tend to reflect Red Blood Cell Count results, so if your Red Blood Cell Count is low, your Hematocrit and Hemoglobin will likely also be low. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Differential results mean? 

A low White Blood Cell count or low WBC count, also known as leukopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, severe infection, and lymphoma. A high White Blood Cell count, or high WBC count, also known as leukocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including infection, leukemia, and inflammation. Abnormal levels in your White Blood Cell Count will be reflected in one or more of your different white blood cells. Knowing which white blood cell types are affected will help your healthcare provider narrow down the issue. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

What do my Platelet results mean? 

A low Platelet Count, also known as thrombocytopenia, could be due to a number of different disorders including autoimmune issues, viral infection, and leukemia. A high Platelet Count, also known as Thrombocytosis, can also be due to many different disorders including cancer, iron deficiency, and rheumatoid arthritis. Results should be discussed with your health care provider who can provide interpretation of your results and determine the appropriate next steps or lab tests to further investigate your health. 

NOTE: Only measurable biomarkers will be reported. Certain biomarkers do not appear in healthy individuals. 

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

Reflex Parameters for Manual Slide Review
  Less than  Greater Than 
WBC  1.5 x 10^3  30.0 x 10^3 
Hemoglobin  7.0 g/dL  19.0 g/dL 
Hematocrit  None  75%
Platelet  100 x 10^3  800 x 10^3 
MCV  70 fL  115 fL 
MCH  22 pg  37 pg 
MCHC  29 g/dL  36.5 g/dL 
RBC  None  8.00 x 10^6 
RDW  None  21.5
Relative Neutrophil %  1% or ABNC <500  None 
Relative Lymphocyte %  1% 70%
Relative Monocyte %  None  25%
Eosinophil  None  35%
Basophil  None  3.50%
     
Platelet  <75 with no flags,
>100 and <130 with platelet clump flag present,
>1000 
Instrument Flags Variant lymphs, blasts,
immature neutrophils,  nRBC’s, abnormal platelets,
giant platelets, potential interference
     
The automated differential averages 6000+ cells. If none of the above parameters are met, the results are released without manual review.
CBC Reflex Pathway

Step 1 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes:

  • Confirmation of differential percentages
  • WBC and platelet estimates, when needed
  • Full review of RBC morphology
  • Comments for toxic changes, RBC inclusions, abnormal lymphs, and other
  • significant findings
  • If the differential percentages agree with the automated counts and no abnormal cells are seen, the automated differential is reported with appropriate comments

Step 2 - The slide review is performed by qualified Laboratory staff and includes: If any of the following are seen on the slide review, Laboratory staff will perform a manual differential:

  • Immature, abnormal, or toxic cells
  • nRBC’s
  • Disagreement with automated differential
  • Atypical/abnormal RBC morphology
  • Any RBC inclusions

Step 3 If any of the following are seen on the manual differential, a Pathologist will review the slide:

  • WBC<1,500 with abnormal cells noted
  • Blasts/immature cells, hairy cell lymphs, or megakaryocytes
  • New abnormal lymphocytes or monocytes
  • Variant or atypical lymphs >15%
  • Blood parasites
  • RBC morphology with 3+ spherocytes, RBC inclusions, suspect Hgb-C,
  • crystals, Pappenheimer bodies or bizarre morphology
  • nRBC’s


The liver is one of the most important organs in the human body. It serves many important roles, from aiding the digestion of food and liquids to filtering harmful toxins from the blood. It also creates important proteins and plays a part in hundreds of functions throughout the body.

With all of this being the case, it's important the liver remains healthy. It's also important to find out as soon as possible when it isn't working as it should. This can be done through a hepatic function panel and other lab tests relating to liver health.

There are several different things that can cause issues with the liver. This article will take a look at possible signs and symptoms of liver damage, who's at risk, and what you can do to assess liver damage.

What Is Liver Health Decline?

Liver health decline refers to a negative change in the liver's ability to function correctly. There can be many reasons a person's liver can become damaged or go into decline. 

Hepatitis A, B, and C are inflammatory conditions of the liver. A person can contract these diseases in a number of different ways, from viral infections to adverse reactions to drugs or alcohol. Abuse of alcohol can also lead to liver diseases such as cirrhosis.

Hemochromatosis is another common liver disease. People suffering from this condition store too much iron in their bodies, which can cause damage to several organs, including the liver. It is thought to be hereditary.

Other genetic liver diseases include Wilson's disease and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Cancer of the liver is another common liver disease.

Risk Factors for Liver Health Decline

Genetics can play a part in liver health decline. If a direct relative has suffered from any of the above genetic liver diseases, you may be at greater risk of contracting them.

Other factors that can put you at higher risk of liver health decline include lifestyle-related elements such as obesity, alcohol abuse, intravenous drug use, unprotected sex, Type 2 diabetes, and exposure to certain toxins.

Signs and Symptoms of Liver Health Decline

If you're worried you may be at risk of suffering from liver health decline, there are a number of signs and symptoms to observe. Jaundice is one of the most prominent signs of liver damage. This is when the skin takes on a yellowish hue; the whites of your eyes may also appear yellow.

Darkened urine can also be a sign your liver is not functioning as it should. If your urine is consistently appearing amber or brown in color, this is cause for concern. This occurs due to the liver's inability to break down a chemical compound known as bilirubin.

Other common symptoms include abdominal swelling, pale-colored stools, nausea, fatigue, easily bruising skin, and swollen legs or ankles. If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms for a prolonged period, you may want to investigate further by conducting a liver health test.

How Is Liver Health Decline Diagnosed?

There are a number of tests that can be carried out to determine how well your liver is functioning. A hepatic function panel is a comprehensive range of tests to assess the overall health of the liver. Because a hepatic (liver) panel is comprised of many different measurements, there is no one defined list of the tests it entails.

However, the measurements most often taken in the course of a liver function panel are:

  • Aspartate aminotransferase: AST is an enzyme that helps to process proteins
  • Alanine aminotransferase: ALT is another enzyme found in the liver that assists in the function of the metabolism
  • Alkaline phosphatase: ALP is an enzyme found in the liver, as well as bones, and other tissues in the body
  • Bilirubin: bilirubin is a yellow-colored waste product created during the breakdown of red blood cells
  • Albumin: a protein produced by the liver that prevents fluids from leaking out of the bloodstream

Then there are other tests that can also be conducted to detect indicators of poor liver health. Levels of the enzyme gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) may be tested, as high levels can be a sign of bile duct damage.

Another measurement that is often taken is levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LD). Elevated levels of this enzyme may indicate liver damage or a range of other disorders.

Prothrombin time (PT) is often also checked. PT is the time it takes your blood to clot. A high PT can be a sign of liver damage.

Other more general tests that can also pick up signs of liver damage include a C-reactive protein test, a complete blood count with differential and platelets blood test, and a comprehensive metabolic panel. Iron and total iron-binding capacity may also be checked.

As well as diagnosing liver decline, many of these tests are conducted to monitor liver diseases after they are diagnosed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Liver Health Decline and Lab Testing

Below are some common questions regarding liver health decline and methods for testing liver function.

How Common Is Liver Health Decline?

Liver damage and decline are on the rise. They are more common in white and Native American people and more common in men than in women.

How Are Tests Conducted?

Blood tests assess liver function. A phlebotomist will take your blood and send your sample to a lab to be assessed.

How Fast Will I Get My Results?

In the majority of cases, you will receive your results online between 24 and 48 hours after your test.

Liver Function Panel and Liver Health Lab Tests

If you're concerned about the health of your liver, consider taking a liver function panel or other liver health lab tests today. With Ulta Lab tests, you'll receive quick and confidential results without the need for health insurance or a doctor's referral.

Tests are affordable and you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Take control of your health today with Ulta Lab Tests.