Medical diagnostic tests are performed for the sake of diagnosis treatment or to check whether a treatment plan is working or not. A Physician can recommend you with particular health tests in order to monitor your health condition. Diagnostic tests are performed to screen patients physical health. Some important medical diagnostic tests are listed below:
- Radiologic test
- Kidney test
- Ear Nose Throat
- Cardiac Test
Positron Emission Tomography:
PET scan is a diagnostic test which is used to screen different kinds of diseases in human body using radioactive tracers particularly glucose. PET can detect all kind of metabolic changes even at cellular level. These radioactive tracers are either inhaled, swallowed or injected in patients vein depending on the organ to be tested. PET scan is used in order to measure oxygen and blood flow commonly used to detect cancer, heart diseases and brain disorders including Alzheimer disease, epilepsy, Parkinson disease and head trauma. People having asthma, sickle cell anemia, multiple myeloma may show some allergic reaction to PET scan. During pregnancy PET scan should be avoided.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging:
MRI scan uses radio waves and a large sized magnet to detect internal organs and body structures. It is used to detect ligaments, tumors and especially for the screening of spinal cord and brain. It is used to detect different kinds of diseases like tumors, brain aneurysm, spine inflammation and in case of tumor. MRI scan should be avoided in patients with cardiac pace makers, artificial heart valves or any kind of metallic implants. Patients with a sensation of claustrophobia should be given a mild sedative before MRI scan. It may also harm hearing abilities and may produce a twitching sensation. No side effects seen during pregnancy. It is not a painful diagnostic test.
CT-scan is computerized tomography, CT scan provides cross-sectional imaging of blood vessels, bones and tissues. It is painless process but it might cause a little discomfort. It is used to detect tumors and nodules especially used for chest, abdomen, pelvis, neck, brain and detecting variety of cancers and their spread rate. CT scan can spot diseases like cancer, emphysema, fractures, blood clots or infection. CT scan uses ionizing radiations and should not be performed during pregnancy due to its intense radiations which may even develop cancer.
Basic medical diagnostic tests for kidneys include GFR and ACR tests.
Glomerular filtration test:
GFR is a diagnostic test used for kidneys to check out the blood filteration rate, is it normal or not? Normal GFR range is 90 to 120 mL/min/1.73 m2. GFR level decreases with age. So GFR level is lower in older people. There are no particular preparations for GFR test a blood sample is taken from patient’s arm and sent to laboratory for analysis.
ACR test is performed to check out the ratio of albumin and creatinine. This test is used in case of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. The normal values for ACR is about 30. While ranging from 30-300 means your ACR is increased. Low ACR means your kidneys are functioning normally.
Mammogram is a tool used to detect breast cancer and the procedure is known as mammography. About 2300 in men and 230000 breast cancer cases in women are diagnosed each year. Women who are older than 40 years or those with family history of breast cancer should undergo mammography every two years. Avoid wearing deodorants, body lotions or perfumes. These may appear as calcifications therefore avoid using ointments, creams and perfumes. Mammography should be avoided during pregnancy but if it is necessary then consult your radiologist.
Electrocardiogram is a test which is used to diagnose heart abnormalities. Due to some diseases electrical stimulation of heart is affected. In order to check electrical stimulation of heart, ECG or EKG test is performed. ECG is performed in case when someone is having chest pain, troubled breathing, pounding or fluttering of heart. ECG test can detect cardiac abnormalities, arrhythmias and abnormal heartbeat. EKG machine consists of 10-15 electrodes which are placed on patient’s chest, hands and feet with the help of gel. After turning electrocardiogram on a graphical print of heart electrical stimulation is obtained on a paper along with results. This test hardly takes 10 minutes. It is a painless diagnostic test and it can be performed even during pregnancy.
It is a test used to detect blood clots in heart. Echocardiogram uses sound waves to create live heart imaging. It is used to monitor functioning of heart and its valves, aorta, fluid in sacs around heart. There are different kinds of echocardiography tests, Transthoracic, Transesophageal, Stress, three dimensional echocardiography and fetal echocardiography performed depending on the patient’s condition. Echocardiography do not carry any particular side effects but in case of transesophageal echocardiography there might be some complications. As tube is passed through esophagus it can cause esophageal perforations which might be life threatening and sore throat. Electrodes are attached to patient’s body. A transducer is moved back and forth on chest which records heart images. Then this transducer is passed through the esophagus to form live heart images. Echocardiography takes 20-30 minutes it is a painless procedure but might cause little irritation.
It is a kind of diagnostic test in which Physician cuts the part of patient’s skin as a sample to diagnose diseases like infections, skin cancer and other kinds of skin disorders. There are different kinds of skin biopsies including incisional, excisional, punch and shave biopsy. At first skin is sterilized first and then using an anesthetic skin is numbed. Then using any one of the above mentioned procedure skin is removed. You might feel a little soreness around the site which is biopsied. Skin tissue is sent for testing procedures and it might take 1-2 weeks for result. If you feel any kind of redness, bleeding or soreness even after days then consult your doctor. It is a safe procedure even during pregnancy.
LIVER FUNCTION TESTS:
This test determine the functioning of liver. The health care member will first clean the patient’s skin. Then wrap arm with an elastic band. It will help making the veins visible. Needle is used to draw samples of blood from arm. Blood sample is then sent to laboratory for results.
Alkaline Phosphate (ALP)
Normal alkaline phosphate is 40 IU/L. ALP level increases in case of Bile duct blockage, cirrhosis, gall stones, Gall bladder inflammation, hepatitis. Alkaline phosphate level is low in case of bone metabolism disorder, malnourishment.
Normal value for bilirubin is 0.12-1.2 mg/dL. There is increased level of bilirubin in case of abnormal red blood cell destruction, bile duct blockage, Gilbert’s syndrome and hepatitis.
Normal range for albumin is 3.5-5.0 g/dl. There is decreased level of albumin in case of poor nutrition, kidney disease and inflammation.
Aspartate Amino transferase:
Normal range for AST is 40 IU/L. There is an increased level of AST in cirrhosis, heart conditions, hepatitis and pancreatitis. Low level of aspartate amino transferase is considered normal.
Normal level for ALT is 2.5 IU/L. in females and 33 IU/L in males. High level of ALT causes cirrhosis, hepatitis and liver damage. Low levels of ALT or considered normal.
COMMON LAB TESTS:
Basic medical diagnostic tests are mentioned below:
It is performed to check the concentration of blood contents. Normal concentration of red blood cells is 5,000,000 per cubic mm. White blood cells normal range is 7000 per cubic mm. Decrease in red blood cells causes anemia. Low level of white blood cells causes leukemia. Decrease in platelet count causes thrombocytopenia. Abnormal hemoglobin concentration causes sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. During blood test a sample of blood is taken from vein. In this procedure blood is withdrawn gently from vein with the help of needle.
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone:
Normal concentration for TSH is 0.5-5.0 mIU/L This test is used to monitor levels of T3 and T4 hormone in blood. Increased level of TSH causes autoimmune thyroiditis and hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Decreased level of TSH causes unexplained weight gain, dry coarse skin, puffy face.