Blood Result Interpretations

Written by: Sarasvati
Link to original: http://sarasvati.sanguinarius.org/btest.html

Often times it seems people get blood tests run, which is good, but then don't know how to interpret the results or understand the abbreviations used. Not uncommon, as they are confusing. Here I will try and list the most common parts of a blood panel, their abbreviations, what they test for, what the normal values are (Laboratory reference ranges, though the "normals" vary depending on the lab used), and what high or low could indicate. Also, these values and desriptions are based on the assumption that the cells themselves are apparently normal in size, shape, and structure. However, I do make the statement I am not a human doctor, and so any in-depth questions should be directed to your doctor or nurse. These are the horses, but they know about the zebras and "what if"s.

Brief Definitions

  • Whole Blood: Has nothing removed
  • Plasma: Fluid portion of the blood that also contains fibrinogen (clotting factor)
  • Serum: Fluid portion of the blood after the blood has been allowed to clot, so the fibrinogen is removed.
  • g: gram
  • mg: milligram
  • dL: deciliter
  • IU: International Unit
  • L: Liter
  • mmol: millimole
  • mEq: Milliequivalent

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This is a measure of percents. Helps determine hydration, anemias, infection, parasites and allergies.

Hematocrit/Packed Cell Volume (PCV)

Percent of packed red cells after a sample has been "spun down"

  • Normal: 40-50% for males; 37-47% for females
  • Low: Anemia
  • High: Dehydration

Neutrophils

Function to "eat" and break down foriegn particles in the body. Also can cause inflammation.

  • Normal: 50-70% (2500-7000 per ml)
  • Low: formation disorders
  • High: pheumonia, meningitis, acute hemorrhage, some drugs. Normally high in newborns, late pregnancy, hard exercise, extensive vomiting, or severe pain.

Eosinophils

Respond to bacteria and histamines (allergic reactions). Also respond to parasites.

  • Normal: 1-3% (50-300 per ml)
  • Low: formation disorders
  • High: Usually allergies or internal parasites. Also can be from asthma, some skin conditions, some blood diseases, or after irridation.

Basophils

Add to inflammatory response.

  • Normal: 0-1% (0-100 per ml)
  • Low: N/A
  • High: Sinus inflammation, Hodgkin's disease, and pernicious anemia.

Monocytes/Macrophages

Monocytes later become macrophages. Monocyte is the circulating cell, however. and is part of inflammatory response. Macrophages "eat" foreign particles.

  • Normal: 2-8% (100-800 per ml)
  • Low: formation disorders
  • High: chronic infection, "mono"

Lymphocytes

General primary immune response cells.

  • Normal: 20-40% (1000-4000 per ml)
  • Low: Formation disorders and immune diseases (HIV/AIDS)
  • High: acute infections

Chemistry Panel

Evaluates the chemicals and protiens in the blood.

Albumin

Major blood protien. Regulates water balance, moves nutrients, and removes wastes. Made in the liver.

  • Normal: 3.9 to 5.0 g/dl
  • Low: Liver disease, kidney or intestinal loss, malnutrition, extensive burns.
  • High: Dehydration

Bilirubin

Byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. Usuale removed by the liver and excreted in the bile.

  • Normal: 0.2 to 1.9 mg/dl
  • Low:
  • High: Certain antiviral drugs, liver disease, excessive red blood cell breakdown, gall bladder disease, chronic hemorrhage

Creatinine

Waste product of protien breakdown. Used to measure kidney function.

  • Normal: 0.8 to 1.4 mg/dl
  • Low: Not significant
  • High: Kidney disease, dehydration.

Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)

Waste product of protien breakdown. Typically formed by the liver and removed by the kidneys.

  • Normal: 7 to 20 mg/dl
  • Low: Formation disorders, pregnancy, severe liver damage.
  • High: High-protien diet, kidney failure, dehyration, heart disease.

Creatine Kinase (CK or CPK)

Product of muscle breakdown

  • Normal:
  • Low: Not significant
  • High: Myopathy, recent exercise

pH

Measure of the acidity of the body/blood.

  • Normal: 7.4
  • Low: Acidic - hyperventilation, chronic diarrhea
  • High: Basic - vomiting

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT)

Enzyme from the heart, liver and muscles.

  • Normal: 10 to 34 IU/L
  • Low: Not significant
  • High: heart attack, liver disease, muscle trauma

Alkaline Phosphotase (ALP)

Enzyme from the liver and bone, also small amount created from the intestines.

  • Normal: 44 to 147 IU/L
  • Low: Not significant
  • High: Liver or bone disease, third trimester pregancy, immaturity.

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT)

Enzyme primarily from the liver, some muscle production.

  • Normal: 6 to 59 IU/L
  • Low: Not significant
  • High: Liver disease

Calcium (Ca)

Most abundant blood mineral. Critical for muscle function, blood clotting, and bone formation.

  • Normal: 8.5 to 10.9 mg/dl
  • Low: PTH deficiency, kidney disease, Vitamin D deficiency, malabsorption.
  • High: Excessive parathyroid hormone (PTH), bone disease, excess intake.

Sodium (Na)

Basic Blood electrolyte. Important for proper kidney function, water retention/excretion, and nerve signaling.

  • Normal: 136 to 144 mEq/L
  • Low: diuretics, diarrhea, kidney disease.
  • High: dehydration

Potassium (K)

Basic Blood electrolyte. Important in muscle movement/nerve impulses, however is found in lower blood levels then in tissue levels.

  • Normal: 3.7 to 5.2 mEq/L
  • Low: prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, kidney disease, or when taking diuretics.
  • High: Renal disease, growth

Chlorine (Cl)

Basic blood electrolyte.

  • Normal: 101 to 111 mmol/L
  • Low: Vomiting
  • High: Intestinal obstruction

Phosphorus (P)

Basic Blood electrolyte. Close relationship with Calcium in regulation of bone mass.

  • Normal: 2.4 to 4.1 mg/dl
  • Low: formation disorders
  • High: chronic infection, "mono"

Glucose

"Blood sugar" responsible for brain function, cell "fuel".

  • Normal: 65 to 140 mg/dL
  • Low: Excessive insulin production
  • High: Diabeties

Cholestrol

Lipid important for cell wall formation. Present in two main forms Hidensity (HDL, "Good Cholesterol") and Low Density (LDL, "Bad Cholesterol")

  • Normal: 105 to 333 IU/L (for LDH) 100 to 240 mg/dl (Total)
  • Low: formation disorders
  • High: Some cancers and endocrine diseases.

Credits

Thanks to SphynxCat for the better coding :)