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Blood Panel Explanation
Listed below is a narrative description of a complete blood panel,
inlcuding a SMAC 25 and a Complete Blood Count (CBC) with
differential. The purpose of a screening procedure like this is to
identify results that do not fall within normal limits. All results
that are categorized as HIGH or LOW need to followed up with your
personal physician unless otherwise stated.
Complete Blood Count
- White Cell Count relates to the body’s immune
system. Recent colds, allergies, infections, or chemical exposures
may cause this value to be high or low.
- Red Cell Count refers to the red blood cells. These
cells carry oxygen in the blood. Low values are commonly seen in
individuals with certain types of anemia.
- Hemoglobin (HgB) is the oxygen carrying component in the
red blood cell. It is formed in the bone marrow. Low values are
commonly seen in individuals with certain types of anemia.
- Hematocrit (Hct) - is the volume (percentage) of red
blood cells in whole blood. Low values are commonly seen in
individuals with certain types of anemia.
- MCV stands for mean cell volume. This is a measure of
the average size of the red blood cells.
- MCH stands for mean cell hemoglobin. This is a measure
of the amount of hemoglobin associated with each red cell.
- MCHC stands for mean cell hemoglobin concentration. This
value represents the mean hemoglobin concentration in each red
- Platelet Count refers to the disk shaped structures
found in the blood, primarily known for their role in the
- Neutrophils, Lymphocytes, Monocytes, Eosinophils, and
Basophils are the different types of white blood cells. A
detailed look at all of the white cells will provide a physician
with useful information regarding the status of the immune
- RBC Morphology refers to the size and the shape of the
red blood cells obtained in your blood sample.
Blood Chemistry Panel
- Glucose is a measure of sugar content in your blood.
This value is watched closely to evaluate diabetes or hypoglycemia.
This test needs to be performed in a fasted (no eating) state. Your
blood sugar should be between 60-120 mg/dl to be considered
- Urea Nitrogen (BUN) is a waste product of protein
metabolism. It is produced in the liver and excreted by the
kidneys. When protein metabolism is not working properly, high
values may occur. Low values need not always be followed with your
- Creatinine is another waste product of protein
metabolism. It represents the function of the kidneys. A low value
is not clinically significant.
- Iron is the most sensitive indicator of your iron stores
(in the absence of liver disease or inflammation). Low values may
represent certain types of anemia and should be evaluated by your
- Calcium is involved in many physiologic processes. A
normal blood calcium level is essential for normal function of the
heart, nerves, and muscles. It is also involved in the coagulation
- Phosphorus is an essential element in the diet. It is a
major component of the mineral phase of bone and occurs in all
tissues, being involved in almost all metabolic processes. Calcium
is controlled by the kidneys and parathyroid glands. Processing
errors may affect this value.
- Uric Acid is a constituent in the blood which transports
nitrogen in the body. It is normally excreted in the urine to rid
the body of nitrogen. Values that are high may indicate gout,
arthritis or certain kidney problems. A low value is not clinically
- Sodium is an ion that is important in the conduction of
nerves, contraction of muscles, and functioning of cells. It is
controlled primarily by the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- Potassium is important for muscles and nerves to
function properly. It is controlled by the kidneys. This value is
watched very closely if one is taking diuretics or cardiovascular
medications. If the blood sample is not processed properly, high
values may occur.
- Chloride, like sodium and potassium, is an ion that is
important in the functioning of cells. It is primarily controlled
by the kidneys and adrenal glands.
- Total Protein is the total amount of protein circulating
in the blood. This value represents your general nutritional
- Albumin is a carbohydrate-free plasma protein which
transports fatty acids, bilirubin, and poorly saturated hormones.
It also serves as a reserve store of protein. High values are not
- Globulin is a protein fraction. Elevated values may
indicate chronic infections and should be followed-up by your
- A/G Ratio is a ratio between Albumin and Globulin.
Provided Albumin and Globulin values are normal, a high or low
ratio is not significant.
- Total Bilirubin is a bile pigment. It normally
circulates in the plasma and is taken up by liver cells. High
levels of bilirubin may result in jaundice.
- LDH stands for lactate dehydrogenase. It is an enzyme
involved in the breakdown of lactic acid. Anything which causes
cellular damage, including heart attacks, liver disease, and blood
drawing itself, may cause higher values.
- Alkaline Phosphatase is an enzyme found primarily in
bones and the liver. Values for pregnant women have found to be
elevated, however low values are probably not significant.
- SGOT stands for serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase.
SGOT is a liver enzyme involved in cellular functions of the heart
muscle and liver. Alcohol consumption, liver disease, and other
normal factors have been shown to raise this value. Low values are
probably not clinically significant.
- SGPT stands for serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase.
SGPT, like SGOT, is an enzyme involved in the functions of heart,
liver, and muscle cells. Alcohol consumption has been shown to
increase this value.
- GGT stands for Gamma Glutamyl Transpedtidase. Similar to
SGOT and SGPT, GGT is an enzyme involved in the function of the
liver, heart, and muscle cells. Alcohol consumption, liver disease,
heart attacks, recent heavy physical exertion, and other normal
factors have been shown to raise this value. Low values are
probably not significant.
- Cholesterol is used to make essential body substances,
such as cell walls and hormones. High levels of cholesterol have
been associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Low
levels of cholesterol are preferred.
- Triglycerides are blood fats that are the usual storage
form of lipids in the body. This value can be dramatically affected
by a recent meal or recent physical activity. Thus, an eight hour
fast with no significant activity is required for accurate
- HDL Cholesterol is a High Density Lipoprotein, which is
commonly referred to as the “good” cholesterol. HDL
Cholesterol is a transport protein that carries cholesterol away
from the artery walls for removal from the body. The higher the HDL
value, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise and
weight loss have been shown to increase your HDL level, while
smoking has been shown to decrease it.
- LDL Cholesterol is a Low Density Lipoprotein, which is
commonly referred to as the “bad” cholesterol. LDL
Cholesterol, like HDL Cholesterol, is a transport protein. However,
LDL transports cholesterol to the arteries. The lower the LDL
Cholesterol concentration, the lower the risk of cardiovascular
disease. A low-fat, low-cholesterol diet has been shown to decrease
- Cholesterol/HDL Ratio is a ratio of Total Cholesterol to
HDL Cholesterol. This ratio has been shown to be a good predictor
of cardiovascular disease risk, with the lower the ratio the
better. A combination of regular aerobic exercise and good
nutritional practices have been shown to improve this ratio.
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