test for albumin, the major protein molecule in the blood. Produced by the liver, liver disease results in low albumin levels. (also low in malnutrition)
alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
test for the enzyme alkaline phosphatase that is found in both liver cells and bone cells (elevated in liver and bone disease)
ALT and AST
test for the enzymes alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST), which are mainly found in the liver. Elevated blood levels occur when damaged liver cells release these enzymes
test for unconjugated, conjugated, and total bilirubin levels
abnormal in liver disease or gallstones
test for the enzyme gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT or GGTP), which is mainly found in the liver. (damaged liver cells)
liver function tests (LFTs)
panel of individual blood tests performed at the same time to give a comprehensive picture of liver function . Includes albumin, bilirubiin, ALT, AST, and GGT as well as prothrombin time (to evaluate blood clotting factors produced by the liver)
rapid screening test to detect the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Biopsy of gastric mucosa placed in urea, if bacteria is present they metabolize the urea to ammonia and ammonia changes the color of the test pad
culture and sensitivity (C&S)
diagnostic test of a culture that determines which bacterium is causing an intestinal infection and a sensitivity test to determine which antibiotic drugs it is sensitive to . Patients feces are swabbed onto a culture dish that contains a nutrient medium for growing bacteria. Disks of antibiotic drugs are placed in the culture dish, if the bacteria are resistant to that antibiotic drug there will only be a small zone of inhibition (no growth) around it. if the bacteria are sensitive to that antibiotic there will be a medium or large zone of inhibition around the disk.
fecal occult blood test
diagnositc test for occult (hidden) blood in the feces. the feces are mixed with the chemical reagent guaiac. if blood is present , the guaiac will turn a blue color. Hemoccult and Coloscreen cards can be purchased by consumers for home testing. Heme positive or negative.
diagnostic test to determine the amount of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. a nasogastric (NS) tube is inserted, and gastric fluid is collected. Then a drug is given to stimulate acid production, and another sample is collected.
ova and parasites (O&P)
diagnostic test to determine if there is a parasitic infection in the gastrointestinal tract. ova are the eggs of parasitic worms. they can be seen in the feces or by examining a sample under a microscope.
barium enema (BE)
procedure that uses liquid radiopaque contrast medium (barium) instilled into the rectum and colon. Barium outlines and coats the walls and an x-ray is then taken. this test is used to identify polyps, diverticula, ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer.
procedure that uses a contrast dye to outline the bile ducts. then an x-ray is taken to show stones in the gallbladder and bile ducts or thickening of the gallbladder wall. (cholangiogram).
intravenous cholangiography (IVC)
the contrast dye is injected intravenously, travels thorugh the blood to the liver, and is excreted with bile into the gallbladder
percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography (PTC)
needle is passed through the abdominal wall and the contrast dye is injected into the liver
endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
the contrast dye is injected going backward (in the opposite direction of the flow of bile and enzymes) to visualize the common bile duct and pancreatic duct
computerized axial tomography (CAT, CT scan)
procedure that uses x-rays to create images of abdominal organs structures in many thin, successive "slices"
flat plate of the abdomen
an x-ray without contrast dye. the patient lies flat, in the supine position, on the x-ray table for this procedure.
procedure that uses ultra high-frequency sound waves to create images of the gallbladder. it is used to identify gallstones and thickening of the gallbladder wall. (gallbladder sonogram)
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
procedure that uses a strong magnetic field to align protons in the atoms of the patient;s body . the protons emit signals to form images of the abdominal organs and structures as thin, successive "slices"
oral cholecystography (OCG)
procedure that uses tablets of radiopaque contrast dye take orally. the tablets dissolve in the intestine. the contrast dye is absorbed into the blood, travels to the liver, and is excreted with bile into the gallbladder.an x-ray is taken to identify stones in the gallbladder and biliary ducts or thickening of the gallbladder wall. (cholecystogram)
upper gastrointestinal series (UGI)
procedure that uses a liquid radiopaque contrast medium (barium) that is swallowed. Barium coats and outlines the walls of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. (barium swallow). Fluoroscopy (a continuously moving x-ray image on the screen) is used to follow the barium through the small intestine. this is a small bowel follow through. individual x-rays are taken at specific times throughout the procedure. This test IDs ulcers, tumors, or obstruction in the esophagus, stomach , and small intestine.