A laboratory is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific research, experiments, and measurement may be performed. Labs used for scientific research take many forms because of the differing requirements of specialists in the various fields of science.
Types of Laboratories
Clinical and Medical Laboratories:
These laboratories are equipped for diagnostic tests on tissue, blood, urine, and other patient samples. They can be subdivided into various processing departments such as pathology, serology, histology, virology, bacteriology and molecular biology with PCR-technologies.
Analytical and Quality Laboratories:
In analytical and quality laboratories products and materials are tested against conformity to specifications and the absence of impurities. These laboratories form an essential component within the production and the supply chain.
The purpose of biosafety laboratories and suites is the containment of potentially harmful biological agents. The containment is achieved through a thoughtful combination of methods, facilities and equipment. The levels of containment go from BSL1 to the highest level of BSL4.
Laboratories conducting microbiological, and cell or tissue culture work require incubators to protect these cultures from the environment. Parameters such as temperature, humidity, and O2 and CO2 levels need to be controlled.
Pilot production or small volume laboratories as a scale-up between R&D and commercial production, or for the production for clinical trials, form a category on their own. Such laboratories can be found in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and the science and technology sectors. Quite often special attention needs to be given towards containment and air quality.
Research & Development (R&D) Laboratories:
This category covers a broad spectrum of laboratories with various risk qualifications and containment requirements such as: PBOEL, Bio Safety Laboratories, laboratories with radio-active risks etc. Also specialized laboratories for seed, crop, material, and life sciences research are part of this category.
Types of services
This includes culturing of clinical specimens, including feces, urine, blood, sputum, cerebrospinal fluid, and synovial fluid, as well as possible infected tissue. The work here is mainly concerned with cultures, to look for suspected pathogens which, if found, are further identified based on biochemical tests. Also, sensitivity testing is carried out to determine whether the pathogen is sensitive or resistant to a suggested medicine. Results are reported with the identified organism(s) and the type and amount of drug(s) that should be prescribed for the patient.
This is concerned with identification of viruses in specimens such as blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid.
It determines various blood clotting times, coagulation factors, and platelet function.
It analyzes whole blood specimens to perform full blood counts and includes the examination of Blood films. Other specialized tests include cell counts on various bodily fluids.
It commonly performs dozens of different tests on serum or plasma. These tests, mostly automated, includes quantitative testing for a wide array of substances, such as lipids, blood sugar, enzymes, and hormones.
It tests urine for many analytes, including microscopically. If more precise quantification of urine chemicals is required, the specimen is processed in the clinical biochemistry lab.
It involves using blood and other cells to produce a DNA karyotype. This can be helpful in cases of prenatal diagnosis (e.g. Down's syndrome) as well as in some cancers which can be identified by the presence of abnormal chromosomes.
Common Lab Tests
Complete Blood Count (CBC)/ Full Blood Count (FBC)
This is the most common blood test performed. It measures the concentration of cells in the blood, including red and white blood cells and platelets. This test is used to determine general health status, screen for disorders and evaluate nutritional status. It can help evaluate symptoms such as weakness, fatigue and bruising, and can help diagnose conditions such as anemia, leukemia, malaria and infection. Read More
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
An erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) test is sometimes called a sedimentation rate test or sed rate test. This blood test doesn’t diagnose one specific condition. Instead, it helps our healthcare providers determine whether you’re experiencing inflammation. The test is done to check for diseases causing inflammation in your body. It measures how many of your red blood cells (erythrocytes) fall to the bottom of a test tube in 1 hour. Our doctor will look at ESR results along with other information or test results to help figure out a diagnosis. The tests ordered will depend on your symptoms. Read More
The Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test is a nonspecific flocculation test which is used for the screening of Syphilis. VDRL test is easy to perform and inexpensive, so it is commonly used in the screening of population for syphilis. Without some other evidence for the diagnosis of syphilis, a reactive nontreponemal test does not confirm Treponema pallidum infection. Read More
The fasting blood sugar test (FBS) sometimes called a fasting plasma glucose test it measures the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood when you have not had anything to eat or drink for several hours. A fasting blood sugar (FBS) level is one of the tests used to diagnose diabetes mellitus (the others being the oral glucose tolerance test and the A1C level). Read More
RBS Means Random Blood Sugar test. It shows the glucose level in the blood. There are three types of blood sugar tests.
- Fasting blood sugar - blood test done on empty stomach.
- RBS -test done at any time.
- Post prandial blood test -test done after having food.
Accurate blood glucose levels can be obtained by doing the first and third tests. Read More
Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA)
Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by normal, as well as malignant, cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. Read More
The full form of RFT is Renal Function Tests, and it is done to ensure that patients have healthy kidneys. Chances are that most people are not aware of the tiny elements that makes their kidney healthy, or they know only a few of them or none of them. RFT is specifically designed keeping all those things in mind. Read More
URIC ACID TEST
Also known as a serum uric acid measurement, a uric acid blood test determines how much uric acid is present in a person’s blood. The test can help determine how well the body produces and removes uric acid.
Uric acid is a chemical that is produced when foods that contain organic compounds called purines is broken down by the body, also as cells get old and die, they break down, releasing purines into the blood. Read More
Renal function is an indication of the kidney's condition and its role in renal physiology. Glomerular filtration rate is a measure of kidney function.
An estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) test is a blood test that’s used to figure out how well a person’s kidneys are working. The test measures the amount of creatinine in the blood and, using a formula, mathematically derives a number that estimates how well the kidneys are functioning. Though the eGFR is a good test, it is not right for everyone. For example, this test may not be accurate if one is younger than 18, if one is pregnant or if one is very overweight or very muscular. Read More
Urine test also known as urinalysis. It is a test of your urine, urinalysis is used to detect and manage a wide range of disorders, such as urinary tract infections, kidney disease and diabetes. A urinalysis involves checking the appearance, concentration and content of urine. Abnormal urinalysis results may point to a disease or illness. For example, a urinary tract infection can make urine look cloudy instead of clear. Increased levels of protein in urine can be a sign of kidney disease. Unusual urinalysis results often require more testing to uncover the source of the problem. Read More
THYROID PROFILE TEST
Thyroid function tests are a group of tests performed to evaluate how the thyroid gland is functioning. Thyroid gland is located below the Adam's apple in the neck and it secretes hormones. The hormones secreted by the thyroid gland affect the way in which the various organs in the body utilize energy and also regulate the mineral levels in the blood. These tests are performed to diagnose and determine the cause of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) gland. Read More
A liver function test also called an LFT or liver chemistries, is a blood test that measures enzymes and proteins in the blood. Enzyme tests show the extent of damage to a liver, while proteins show how well a liver is performing. An LFT is a diagnostic tool used to detect whether a person’s liver functioning properly, and can also be a screening tool for measuring the severity and type of liver disease. Liver function is measured with a series of blood tests, called a panel. Read More
LIPID PROFILE TESTS
Lipid profile or lipid panel is a panel of blood tests that serve as an initial screening tool for abnormalities in lipids. The results of this test can identify certain genetic diseases and can determine approximate risks for cardiovascular disease, certain forms of pancreatitis, and other diseases.
Lipids being fats and fatty substances, are used as a source of energy by the body. They include cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Read More
FERTILITY HORMONES TESTS
The purpose of women’s hormone testing is to diagnose a hormonal imbalance or monitor the effects of treatment methods used to correct hormonal imbalances. A woman’s hormone tests are used to diagnose hypothyroidism, fertility problems, and polycystic ovary syndrome. If a woman has stopped menstruating for example or started experiencing unusual vaginal bleeding, hormone tests can also be used to determine if she has started menopause or will be starting menopause soon. Read More
FOLLICLE-STIMULATING HORMONE (FSH) LEVEL TEST
The Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is important to the reproductive system. It’s responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles. This test measures the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the blood. FSH is made by the pituitary gland, a small gland located underneath the brain. FSH plays an important role in sexual development and functioning.
- In men, FSH helps control the production of sperm. Normally, FSH levels in men do not change very much.
- In women, FSH helps control the menstrual cycle and stimulates the growth of eggs in the ovaries. FSH levels in women change throughout the menstrual cycle, with the highest levels happening just before an egg is released by the ovary. This is known as ovulation.
- FSH levels are usually low in children until puberty when levels begin to rise. In girls, it helps signal the ovaries to make estrogen. In boys, it helps signal the testes to make testosterone.
The Luteinizing hormone (LH) is involved in many of the body’s processes, including pregnancy, puberty, and ovulation. The levels of this hormone increases or decreases at various points during these cycles.
A Luteinizing Hormone test measures how much luteinizing hormone a person has in their blood. This is a hormone that plays key roles in both male and female reproductive systems
An LH test is a type of blood test that measures a person’s LH levels.
This hormone is made in the pituitary gland of the brain. It is a sex hormone that affects how a person’s reproductive organs work. In females, LH affects the ovaries. In males, it affects the testes.
Estrogen tests helps check on matters that have to do with puberty, fertility, menopause, and other conditions. If the doctor needs to check to diagnose a condition which has been caused by too much or too little of a particular estrogen type, she/he may recommend an estrogen test. It is a simple blood test, and it can measure up to three types of this estrogen. Read More
Prolactin test helps to diagnose the cause of decreased libido and/or erectile dysfunction; to detect and monitor a pituitary tumor that produces prolactin (prolactinoma).
In women; to help investigate unexplained flow of breast milk (galactorrhea), abnormal nipple discharge, absence of menstrual periods, and/or infertility. Read More
Also known as PT and Pro Time, this test measures how long it takes blood to clot. This coagulation test measures the presence and activity of five different blood clotting factors. This test can screen for bleeding abnormalities, and may also be used to monitor medication treatments that prevent the formation of blood clots.
Basic Metabolic Panel
This test measures glucose, sodium, potassium, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, blood urea nitrogen and creatinine which can help determine blood sugar level, electrolyte and fluid balance as well as kidney function. The Basic Metabolic Panel can help our doctors' monitor the effects of medications you are taking, such as high blood pressure medicines, to help diagnose certain conditions. You may need to fast for up to 12 hours before this test.
Cultures are used to test for diagnosis and treatment of infections. Illnesses such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia, strep throat, MRSA and meningitis can be detected and tested for appropriate antibiotic treatment.