Laboratory Results: What Is It?

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Laboratory Results: What Is It?
Laboratory Results: What Is It?

Video: Laboratory Results: What Is It?

Video: Laboratory Results: What Is It?
Video: Lab Results, Values, and Interpretation (CBC, BMP, CMP, LFT) 2023, March

Laboratory results: what is it?

In the medical laboratory, blood and other test materials (body fluids such as urine, secretions and punctures, but also stool and much more) are examined. The laboratory values provide information on illnesses or health risks and help the doctor with therapy decisions.

The specialty of laboratory medicine is called “medical and chemical laboratory diagnostics” in the technical jargon and belongs to the so-called diagnostic medical disciplines alongside radiology (imaging diagnostics) and pathology.

In addition to diagnosing illnesses, laboratory values are also used in many cases for medical assessment of the course of illness.


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  • Medical laboratory diagnostics
  • What is being tested in the blood?
  • Examination of the blood cells
  • Examination of blood plasma
  • Examination of serum

The results of the laboratory tests are compiled in the form of laboratory results and differentiated as follows:

Qualitative or categorical results

  • positive or negative,
  • Blood group A, B or 0 / rhesus positive or negative.

Semi-quantitative results

  • strongly positive, marginally negative etc.
  • RAST classes for allergy examinations,
  • Titre levels in infection serology (antibody tests).

Quantitative results

Examination result in the form of numerical values plus unit

Interpretation of the finding

diagnostic interpretation of the results by the laboratory doctor

Here you can open a laboratory result in PDF format as an example.

Detailed information on the individual laboratory values can be found under the laboratory values table (grouped by organs, organ systems or laboratory diagnostic groups).

Medical laboratory diagnostics

In addition to blood, a large number of other test materials are analyzed in the medical laboratory. These include:

  • Urine,
  • Chair as well
  • all other body fluids like

    • Liquor (cerebrospinal fluid),
    • Joint punctate,
    • Smears,
    • Douches,
    • Secretions (such as cough phlegm or semen)
    • and much more.

Genetic and molecular biological tests are also an important specialty of medical laboratory diagnostics. In the future, these will become increasingly important, particularly with regard to the prevention and targeted therapy of diseases.

What is being tested in the blood?

Blood is a highly complex fluid. It consists of the following components:

  • cellular components: red and white blood cells and platelets,
  • Blood plasma.

During the blood test, depending on the medical question (indication), all of these blood components can be analyzed.

Examination of the blood cells

All blood components can be examined in the medical laboratory. The general and global examination of cellular blood components is called a blood count. The ratio between the red blood cells (erythrocytes) on the one hand and the blood fluid on the other is numerically expressed in an important parameter that is found on practically every laboratory result: the hematocrit value. This is the percentage by volume of red blood cells in the total blood volume.

Examination of blood plasma

The blood plasma is a yellowish, usually translucent and protein-rich liquid. In order for the plasma to be examined in the medical laboratory, the blood must be made incoagulable after collection.

To do this, special substances are added to the blood:

  • Heparin,
  • Citrate or
  • EDTA.

In the next step the blood is centrifuged. The blood cells collect in the lower area of the blood collection tube and the supernatant is the plasma.

Examination of serum

So-called serum is also used for certain laboratory tests. To do this, the blood in the collection tube must first clot and the liquid supernatant obtained after centrifugation is the serum. Serum is slightly poorer in protein than plasma, as some of these are used for blood clotting.

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