Common Blood Tests and Their Meanings


Blood Components



Hematology Tests:    
White Blood Cells (WBC) Fight Infection ↑Infection, acute stress
Red Blood Cells (RBC) Carry Oxygen and waste products ↑Excess red blood cells production, ↓anemia
Hemoglobin (Hgb) Carries Oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from body ↑Excess red blood cell production, ↓anemia
Hematocrit (Hct) %RBC in the blood ↑Excess red blood cell production, ↓anemia
MVC Measures size of RBC Useful in classifying anemias
MCH Measures amount of hemoglobin Useful in classifying anemias
RDW Mathematical calculation measuring the width of RBC’s  
Platelet Count Involved in clotting  
Differential (% and Absolute Granulocytes, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils, and Basophils) Different types of WBC’s Adnormal counts may mean viral infections, bacterial infections, or allergies
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) Speed of settling of red blood cells ↑Inflammatory, infectious, and neoplastic diseases
Fast from 10-12 hours

May drink small amount of water (annually)

Important in assessing risk for coronary heart disease and stroke  
Cholesterol Diet is major source  
HDL “good cholesterol” Predictor of cardiovascular risk; Helps prevent buildup of cholesterol on artery walls. ↑ HDL Cholesterol = ↓risk of heart disease
Triglycerides Main storage form of lipids ↑Risk of plaque on arteries
Calculated LDL “bad cholesterol” Cholesterol deposits on artery walls ↑Risk of heart disease recommended <100
Chemistry Tests:    
Basic Metabolic Profile (BMP) is a combination of the following tests:


Electorlytes-Sodium(Na), Potassium (K), Chloride(Cl)






Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)






Maintain osmotic pressure and fluid balance,


Maintain proper pH,


Regulation of proper function of heart and other muscles.



Body’s main source of energy, blood sugar.

Waste produced by liver and excreted by kidney.

Waste produced by liver and excreted by kidney.

Waste in muscles and blood A blood gas; Important to body’s acid-base balance


Proper function of nerves, enzymes, muscles and blood clotting.

Sodium: Severe hydration, excessive salt intake, ↓congestive heart failure, kidney disease, vomiting, diarrhea, diuretics.

Potassium: ↑renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes, GI loss, diuretics.

Chloride: ↑dehydration, hyperventilation, renal disease, ↓vomiting, over-hydration, congestive failure.

Glucose: ↑diabetes, ↓hypoglycemia

BUN: ↑kidney disease

Creatinine: ↑kidney disease

CO2: ↑hyperventilation, uncontrolled diabetes, ↓emphysema, prolonged vomiting.

Calcium: ↑Hyperparathyroidism, multiple myeloma, bone disease. ↓Hypoparathyroidism, Vitamin D

Uric Acid Waste product made in liver and excreted by kidneys ↑Gout, kidney disease
Microalbumin (Urine test) Contributes to identification and treatment of kidney disease  
Alkaline Phosphatase Enzyme in bone and liver ↑In diseases of the bone and liver
SGOT Enzyme in liver and heart ↑Hepatitis, mono, liver cirrhosis, heart attack (MI)
SGPT Enzyme in liver ↑Hepatitis, obstructive jaundice, cirrhosis of liver
Bilirubin Waste product from breakdown of hemoglobin ↑Liver disease, increased bilirubin production
Total Protein and Albumin Overall health and nutrition. Albumin is an important in fluid regulation and as a transport mechanism. ↑Dehydration

↓Poor Nutrition

Hgb Alc

(every 3 mo/6 mo/year depending on result)

Measure the amount of glucose chemically attached to your red blood cells, tells what your blood sugar has averaged over the last 6 to 8 weeks. ↑Indicates poor diabetes control.

(normal range 4.5 – 5.7%)

PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) Protein produced specifically by prostate cells ↑Benign hyperplasia, Prostatitis

↑↑↑Prostate Cancer

Thyroid Function Tests:    
T4 A hormone of the thyroid gland that influences metabolic rate. ↑Hyperthyroidism


TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) Hormone secreted by the pituitary gland which regulates the thyroid gland  
DEXAscan X-Ray used to measure Bone Mineral Density to detect osteoporosis Osteopenia


Mammogram An x-ray of your breate to detect breast cancer.  
Dilated Eye Exam (Annual) Eye exam with pupils dilated. Reduces the risk of complications/early detection Blurred vision, reduced blood flow to retina, blindness
Foot Exam Early detection of foot problems Pain, loss of sensation, unhealed wounds, amputation
Blood Pressure Normal 120/80

Elevated 140/90

↑Hypertension – complications such as kidney disease, glucose intolerance, high cholesterol, heart disease & stroke.


Digoxin level

To be done at least 6 hrs after last dose of Digoxin

Digoxin is a drug used to treat some heart problems ↑Toxicity

↓Not as effective with heart function

Dilantin Level

(yearly blood test to check Amt in your body)

Dilantin is a medication for controlling seizures (yearly blood test/maintenance level) ↑Level decreased coordination, confusion, ↓level seizure activity
Protime Test the Warfarin or Coumadin effect in your body. These drugs are used to prevent the clotting of blood ↑Bleeding

↓Clotting of blood



Administrative Office
430 N Monitor
West Point, NE 68788
Phone: (402) 372-2404
Fax: (402) 372-2360

Back to Top