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glossary of blood test terminology

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A/G Ratio: Albumin value divided by the globulin value.

Alkaline Phosphorus: A material found in the blood related to liver and bone.

AST/ALT: Material found in the liver cells and muscle (heart) cells. Damage to these cells will increase values.

BNP: A marker for congestive heart failure.

BUN: BUN stands for Blood Urea Nitrogen and is a waste product, which should be removed from the blood by the kidneys. This test measures kidney function.

Calcium: The most abundant mineral found in the human body. Abnormalities are found in loss of bone, kidney disease and lack of Vitamin D.

Chloride: A body salt/electrolyte, it usually follows the same pattern as sodium.

Cholesterol: A blood fat related in part to eating animal fats such as eggs, cheese, cream, liver, pork, beef, etc. Increased values may indicate a tendency to have hardening of the arteries. Values of 180 or less are associated with least risk of heart disease.

Co2: Buffer system assists in the transport of carbon dioxide from the tissue to the lungs.

Creatinine: Creatinine is a waste product, which should be removed from the blood by the kidneys. This test measures kidney function.

GGTP: The earliest liver function to become abnormal.

Globulin: Globulin helps to combat infection on a normal level. It is the total protein value minus albumin value.

Glucose: Glucose is the primary blood sugar test and indicates blood sugar level at the time blood was drawn. High values are seen in diabetics. In addition to pancreatic functions, glucose may be altered by diet and medication.

HGB A1C (Glycohemoglobin): Indicates blood sugar activity for the past two to three months.

HIV antibody: Presence of antibody is associated with having been infected by the virus known to cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

hsCRP: A screening test for heart disease.

LDH: LDH is a material found in blood cells and liver cells. Breakdown of the blood cells as in heart disease or liver damage may increase values.

Lipoproteins: Proteins combined with lipids that serve as carriers of cholesterol. LDL ("Bad" Cholesterol); HDL ("Good" Cholesterol). The higher the value, the less likely that cholesterol deposits are in the blood stream and the less likely the chance of coronary heart disease. Cholesterol/HDL ratio measures the coronary risk factors.

Magnesium: An element absorbed in the intestine. Abnormal levels are found in pancreatitis, alcoholism and Addison's disease.

Phosphorous: Related to bone activity and usually follows exact opposite of calcium.

Potassium: A body salt or electrolyte found mostly inside of cells. "Water pills" may lower potassium and increase kidney damage.

PSA: Abnormal levels in the serum are associated with clinical abnormalities of the prostate, including prostate cancer. Because PSA is found in normal, malignant and benign prostatic tissue, clinical discrimination is based upon its serum level.

SGOT, SGPT: Two measures of liver function; occasionally affected by muscle injury.

Sodium: A body salt, also termed electrolyte. Kidney disease and some diseases of the adrenal gland and dehydration can cause abnormal results.

Total Bilirubin: The level of pigment in the blood. Elevations can be associated with liver disease or breakdown or red blood cells. Slight increases are sometimes seen without significance. Some people normally have isolated elevations of bilirubin called Gilbert's disease.

Total Protein: This is a combination of albumin and globulin, which are proteins. Abnormal values occur in liver disease and poor nutrition.

Triglycerides: A blood fat related to calories and starch (sweets) in the diet. High levels can impair circulation and lead to hardening of the arteries. Alcohol also will increase the value. Fast overnight test for accurate test results.

Uric Acid: A material, which, if in excess, can deposit stones in the kidney or in the joints and cause gout.

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