Student Nurse Laura

Orem – "creative effort of one human being to help another human being."

Patient’s Lab Tests

Posted by Laura on November 15, 2009

When looking at my paitents Lab Works, I decided I wanted a little reference/exercise for what each lab test was for.

This is some of what I have come up with.

Test Definition
Auto Diff looks at the types of white blood cells present. There are five different types of white blood cells, each with its own function in protecting us from infection. The differential classifies a person’s white blood cells into each type: neutrophils (also known as segs, PMNs, granulocytes, grans), lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils.
BUN The BUN test is primarily used, along with the creatinine test, to evaluate kidney function in a wide range of circumstances, to help diagnose kidney disease, and to monitor patients with acute or chronic kidney dysfunction or failure. It also may be used to evaluate a person’s general health status when ordered as part of a basic metabolic panel (BMP) or comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP).
Calcium involved in bone metabolism, protein absorption, fat transfer muscular contraction, transmission of nerve impulses, blood clotting and cardiac function. Regulated by parathyroid.
Carbon Dioxide The CO2 level is related to the respiratory exchange of carbon dioxide in the lungs and is part of the bodies buffering system. Generally when used with the other electrolytes, it is a good indicator of acidosis and alkalinity.
Chloride, serum Elevated levels are related to acidosis as well as too much water crossing the cell membrane. Decreased levels with decreased serum albumin may indicate water deficiency crossing the cell membrane (edema).
Creatinine The creatinine blood test is used along with a BUN (blood urea nitrogen) test to assess kidney function. Both are frequently ordered as part of a basic or comprehensive metabolic panel (BMP or CMP), groups of tests that are performed to evaluate the function of the body’s major organs. This test is also known as: Creat, Blood creatinine, Serum Creatinine, Urine creatinine 
Glucose The blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of glucose in the blood right at the time of sample collection. It is used to detect both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, to help diagnose diabetes, and to monitor glucose levels in persons with diabetes
HCT measures the percentage of red blood cells in a given volume of whole blood.
HGB measures the amount of oxygen-carrying protein in the blood.
MCH is a calculation of the average amount of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin inside a red blood cell. Macrocytic RBCs are large so tend to have a higher MCH, while microcytic red cells would have a lower value.
MCHC is a calculation of the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a red cell. Decreased MCHC values (hypochromia) are seen in conditions where the hemoglobin is abnormally diluted inside the red cells, such as in iron deficiency anemia and in thalassemia. Increased MCHC values (hyperchromia) are seen in conditions where the hemoglobin is abnormally concentrated inside the red cells, such as in burn patients and hereditary spherocytosis, a relatively rare congenital disorder.
MCV is a measurement of the average size of your RBCs. The MCV is elevated when your RBCs are larger than normal (macrocytic), for example in anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. When the MCV is decreased, your RBCs are smaller than normal (microcytic) as is seen in iron deficiency anemia or thalassemias.
MPV is a machine-calculated measurement of the average size of your platelets. New platelets are larger, and an increased MPV occurs when increased numbers of platelets are being produced. MPV gives your doctor information about platelet production in your bone marrow.
Platelet count is the number of platelets in a given volume of blood. Both increases and decreases can point to abnormal conditions of excess bleeding or clotting.
Potassium is the major intracellular cation. Very low value: Cardiac arrhythmia.
RBC is a count of the actual number of red blood cells per volume of blood. Both increases and decreases can point to abnormal conditions.
RDW a calculation of the variation in the size of your RBCs. In some anemias, such as pernicious anemia, the amount of variation (anisocytosis) in RBC size (along with variation in shape – poikilocytosis) causes an increase in the RDW
Sodium is the most abundant cation in the blood and its chief base. It functions in the body to maintain osmotic pressure, acid-base balance and to transmit nerve impulses. Very Low value: seizure and Neurologic Sx.
WBC count is a count of the actual number of white blood cells per volume of blood. Both increases and decreases can be significant.

Laboratory – Chemistry


  • SODIUM, serum
    • Normal Adult Range: 135-145 mmol/L
      Optimal Adult Reading: 140.5
  • POTASSIUM, serum
    • Normal Range: 3.5 – 5.0 mmol/L
      Optimal Adult Reading: 4.5
  • CHLORIDE, serum
    • Normal Adult Range: 101-111 mmol/L
    • Optimal Adult Reading: 103
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)  
    • Normal Adult Range: 20-29 mEq/L 
  • Glucose
    • Normal Adult Range: 70-110 mg/dl
  • BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen)
    • Normal Adult Range: 6-20 mg/dl
  • Creatinine, serum
    • Normal Adult Range: 0.5-1.2 mg/dl
  • CALCIUM, serum
    • Normal Adult Range: 8.5-10.5 mg/dl
      Optimal Adult Reading: 9.4

Laboratory – Hematology



  • WBC Count (White Blood Cell Count)
    • Normal x Range: 4.8 -10.0 x1000/ul
    • Higher ranges are found in children, newborns and infants.
  • RBC Count (Red Blood Cell Count)
    • Normal Adult Female Range: 3.9 – 5.2 mill/mcl
      Optimal Adult Female Reading: 4.55
      Normal Adult Male Range: 4.2 – 5.6 mill/mcl
      Optimal Adult Male Reading: 4.9
      Lower ranges are found in Children, newborns and infants
    • Normal Adult Female Range: 12 – 16 g/dl
      Optimal Adult Female Reading: 14 g/dl
      Normal Adult Male Range: 14 – 18 g/dl
      Optimal Adult Male Reading: 16 g/dl
      Normal Newborn Range: 14 – 20 g/dl
      Optimal Newborn Reading: 17 g/dl
    • Normal Adult Female Range: 38 – 46%
      Optimal Adult Female Reading: 42%
      Normal Adult Male Range 42 – 54%
      Optimal Adult Male Reading: 47
      Normal Newborn Range: 50 – 62%
      Optimal Newborn Reading: 56
  • MCV (Mean Corpuscular Volume)
    • Normal Adult Range: 80 – 100 fl
      Optimal Adult Reading: 90
      Higher ranges are found in newborns and infants
  • MCH (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin) 
    • Normal Adult Range: 27 – 33 pg
      Optimal Adult Reading: 30
  • MCHC (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration)
    • Normal Adult Range: 32 – 36 %
      Optimal Adult Reading: 34
      Higher ranges are found in newborns and infants
  • RDW (Red Blood Cell Distribution Width)      
    • Normal Adult Range: 11.5-14.5%
    • Normal Adult Range: 130 – 400 thous/mcl
      Optimal Adult Reading: 265
      Higher ranges are found in children, newborns and infants
  • MPV (Mean Platelet Volume)
    • Normal Adult Range: 7.4-10.4 fl



  • NEUTROPHILS and NEUTROPHIL COUNT  – this is the main defender of the body against infection and antigens. High levels may indicate an active infection.
    • Normal Adult Range: 48 – 73 %
      Optimal Adult Reading: 60.5
      Normal Children’s Range: 30 – 60 %
      Optimal Children’s Reading: 45
  • LYMPHOCYTES and LYMPHOCYTE COUNT – Elevated levels may indicate an active viral infections such as measles, rubella, chickenpox, or infectious mononucleosis.
    • Normal Adult Range: 18 – 48 %
      Optimal Adult Reading: 33
      Normal Children’s Range: 25 – 50 %
      Optimal Children’s Reading: 37.5
  • MONOCYTES and MONOCYTE COUNT – Elevated levels are seen in tissue breakdown or chronic infections, carcinomas, leukemia (monocytic) or lymphomas.
    • Normal Adult Range: 0 – 9 %
      Optimal Adult Reading: 4.5
  • EOSINOPHILS and EOSINOPHIL COUNT  – Elevated levels may indicate an allergic reactions or parasites.
    • Normal Adult Range: 0 – 5 %
      Optimal Adult Reading: 2.5
  • BASOPHILS and BASOPHIL COUNT – Basophilic activity is not fully understood but it is known to carry histamine, heparin and serotonin. High levels are found in allergic reactions.
    • Normal Adult Range: 0 – 2 %
      Optimal Adult Reading: 1

3 Responses to “Patient’s Lab Tests”

  1. Jeff said

    What test involves Total Protein, Albumin, Total Bilirubin, Alk Phosphatase, AST, ALT, Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides?
    I am doing research for my mom and basically writing a pamphlet for her so she knows what the CBC consists of and the functions of the WBC’s and RBC’s, with WBD Differential and Chem Profile.
    Her test also included Total Protein, Albumin, Total Bilirubin, Alk Phosphatase, AST, ALT, Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and Triglycerides.
    So this is why I am asking if you know if this group is “Labeled” or just separate tests?
    Thank You
    Btw – I am using this site as a reference for the pamphlet along with about 20-30 more sources.

    • Laura said

      Hi Jeff, it sounds like you are being a great advocate for your Mom! I wish you both the best. A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) will give you most of the things listed. This is good for seeing what is going on with the Liver. Then a Lipid Panel, for assessing the risk of Coronay Heart Disase will measure the Cholesterol, HDL and LDL, and Triglycerides.

      • Jeff said

        Thank You for you research as I have found this site to be extremely reliable and valid as I have double checked you work. Sometimes it is simpler to receive answers just by asking someone that is educated in the field, as yourself, so thanks again. Thank you for your response and I do apologize for replying and thanking you three weeks late.

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