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What is a Hematology Test? – Common Tests & Interpretations

The study of blood in regards to a person’s health or disease is known as Hematology. Blood, blood-forming organs and the proteins involved in bleeding and clotting are included in it. Numerous conditions involving blood and its components are evaluated through hematological tests. Inflammation, anemia, infection, hemophilia, blood-clotting disorders, leukemia and response to chemotherapy, among many other things are diagnosed by hematological tests in diagnostic centres. Some of these tests are described below:

Complete Blood Count Test and Components

Several components and features of your blood are measured by a complete blood count (CBC). On whole blood, a CBC and its individual components are tested. In this type of blood test, measurements of the following are included:

1. White Blood Cells

The body’s primary defense system is made up of white blood cells (WBC). In diagnosing and monitoring infection and leukemic disorders, knowing the number of white blood cells is an important tool. 4,500 – 11,000 per cubic millimeter of blood is a normal WBC level.
In people having any type of infection, anemia, collagen disorders and physiologic stress, such as pregnancy, increased WBC levels are especially found. In cases of malnutrition, rheumatic disorders (lupus, arthritis), some viral infections and those undergoing chemotherapy or other forms of bone marrow suppression, low WBC levels are seen. The tests used to find these are done in diagnostic centres.

2. Red Blood Cells

For the transport and exchange of oxygen, red blood cells (RBC) are responsible. In monitoring the effects of blood loss and the progression of chronic disease, measurement of RBCs is important. 3,900,000 – 5,800,000 per cubic millimeter of blood are normal counts of RBCs.
In people having anxiety or stress, bone marrow failure and dehydration, RBC values are increased. In cases of chronic inflammatory diseases, chemotherapy patients, anemia, blood loss and many cancers, a decreased RBC value will be found.
A complete blood count can include further tests to evaluate the size, weight and shape of those cells in addition to a count of WBCs and RBCs. In diagnosing and monitoring therapy for cancer and anemic updates, these more detailed blood tests are helpful which are done in a pathology lab.

3. Hemoglobin

The oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells is hemoglobin (HgB). The amount of oxygen in the blood is directly reflected in hemoglobin levels. 11-15 grams per deciliter (g/dL) of blood is a normal hemoglobin concentration.
In people with dehydration, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) and those at high altitude, increased HgB is seen. In anemia, blood loss, liver disease, as well as leukemia and lymphomas, a decreased HgB value is seen. Tests for these are done in diagnostic centres.

4. Hematocrit and Platelets

The proportion of red blood cells to plasma, the fluid component of your blood, is called Hematocrit (HCT). The evaluation of anemia and hydration is done with the help of HCT. 33 to 49% is a normal percentage of hematocrit. Those of hemoglobin are mirrored through the increased and decreased levels of HCT. To evaluate anemia, RBC HgB and HCT tests, which parallel each other, are frequently used together.
In blood clotting, platelets (PLT) have an essential function. 150,000 – 450,000 platelets per cubic millimeter of blood is a normal value. In conditions involving inflammation such as acute infection, trauma and some malignant cancers, an increased platelet value is seen. In alcohol toxicity, anemia, blood loss, infection, many congenial conditions and coagulation disorders, a decreased platelet count is found. Tests for these are very crucial and they must be done in diagnostic centres with proper facilities.

Prothrombin Time Test

To measure the amount of time it takes for your blood plasma to clot, a prothrombin time (PT) test is done, which is a type of blood test. One of many plasma proteins involved in the clotting process is prothrombin, which is also known as factor II.
Your blood vessel ruptures as you get a cut in your body. Then at the site of the wound, blood platelets occur. To stop the bleeding they create a temporary plug. A substance called fibrin is made by a series of 12 plasma proteins, or coagulation “factors” and it seals the wound. This whole process takes place in order to produce a strong blood clot.
If you have hemophilia, a bleeding disorder, it can cause your body to create certain coagulation factors incorrectly, or not at all. Abnormal clot formation may also happen due to some medications, liver disease or vitamin K deficiency. Doctors may order a PT test to help them make a diagnosis if they suspect a bleeding disorder. Before you undergo major surgery, your doctor may order a PT test to make sure your blood is clotting normally even if you have no symptoms of a bleeding disorder. There are many other cases in which PT tests are done.

2018-07-09T09:12:34+00:00