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Lab Tests

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AFBAcid-fast bacillus
AIDSAcquired immunodeficiency syndrome
ALTAlanine aminotransferase
ANAAntinuclear antibody
ASTAspartate aminotransferase
CBCComplete blood cell count
CFComplement fixation
CHFCongestive heart failure
CKCreatine kinase
CNSCentral nervous system
CSFCerebrospinal fluid
CXRChest x-ray
CYPCytochrome P450
DiffDifferential cell count
EDTAEthylenediaminetetraacetic acid (edetate)
ELISAEnzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
GNRGram-negative rod
GNCBGram-negative coccobacillus
GPCGram-positive coccus
GVCBGram-variable coccobacillus
HLAHuman leukocyte antigen
INRInternational Normalized Ratio
MNMononuclear cell
MRIMagnetic resonance imaging
NPONothing by mouth (nil per os)
PCRPolymerase chain reaction
PMNPolymorphonuclear neutrophil (leukocyte)
POOrally (per os)
PTHParathyroid hormone
RBCRed blood cell
RPRRapid plasma reagin (syphilis test)
SIADHSyndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone (secretion)
SLESystemic lupus erythematosus
T4Tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine)
TSHThyroid-stimulating hormone
VDRLVenereal Disease Research Laboratory (syphilis test)
WBCWhite blood cell
No change

This section contains information about commonly used laboratory tests. It includes most of the blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid tests found in this book, with the exception of drug levels and pharmacogenetic tests (see Chapter 4). Entries are in outline format and are arranged alphabetically.


Test/Reference Range/Collection


This first outline listing begins with the common test name, the specimen analyzed, and any test name abbreviation (in parentheses).


Below this, in the first outline listing, is the reference range (also called reference interval) for each test. The first entry is in conventional units, and the second entry (in [brackets]) is in SI units (Système International d'Unités). Any panic values for a particular test are placed here after the word Panic. The reference ranges provided are from several large medical centers; consult your own clinical laboratory for those used in your institution.


This outline listing also shows which tube to use for collecting blood and other body fluids, how much the test costs (in relative symbolism; see below), and how to collect the specimen.


The scale used for the cost of each test is:

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Approximate CostSymbol Used in Tables
> $100$$$$

Listed below are the common collection tubes and their contents:

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Tube Top ColorTube ContentsTypically Used In
Lavender or PinkK2EDTAComplete blood count; blood banking (plasma); molecular testing (cell-based)
Serum separator tube (SST)Clot activator and serum separator gelSerum chemistry tests
RedNoneBlood banking (serum)
BlueSodium citrateCoagulation studies

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