A Wide Range of Tests

Medical Laboratory Tests

Clinipath performs a wide range of tests and continuously adds new tests to ensure clinical relevancy. Our range of services includes the following fields of pathology:

  • Haematology
  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology
  • Serology
  • Cytology
  • Histopathology

We also provide the following panel of tests:

  • Prenatal screening program
  • Heavy metals testing
  • Toxicology testing
  • Molecular & genetic testing
  • Specialised high end testing
  • Veterinary pathology

The above only represents a small subset of our diagnostics capabilities. If you’re interested in a specific test, please contact us with your queries.

Below is a brief description for some of the common laboratory tests.

Lipid Screen

Total Cholesterol

Lipids are fatty substances made up of:

  • cholesterol,
  • cholesterol esters,
  • triglycerides,
  • non-esterized fatty acids, and
  • phospholipids.

The majority of endogenous cholesterol is produced by the liver, whereas exogenous dietary sources include animal fats and oils. A diet high in fat, especially saturated fat, tends to raise blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels in the blood encourage deposition of fat substances on blood vessel walls with potential risk for atherosclerosis especially atherosclerotic coronary artery disease. Total serum cholesterol comprises all of the cholesterol found in various lipoproteins.

Use of test: Evaluation of lipid status especially as a risk factor for coronary artery disease. It should be performed with HDL and triglyceride tests to assess atherosclerotic risk factors.

High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL)

Cholesterol and its esters, triglycerides and phospholipids are all transported in the bloodstream attached to protein particles. These lipid-protein complexes are known as lipoproteins. HDL or “good cholesterol” protect against atherosclerosis by removing cholesterol and excess fat from blood vessel walls and transport them to the liver where they are removed from the body.

Use of test: Assessment of risk for atherosclerosis, especially coronary artery disease. Investigation of lipid status in suspected hyperlipidaemia.

Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL)

Most serum cholesterol is present in the LDL. LDL or “bad cholesterol” transports fat and cholesterol to various parts of the body including the blood vessels. They are closely associated with increased incidence of athero-sclerosis and coronary heart disease. LDL cholesterol levels are calculated from fasting values of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Use of test: Assessment of risk for atherosclerosis, especially coronary artery disease. Investigation of lipid status in suspected hyperlipidaemia.

Cholesterol Ratio

The cholesterol/HDL ratio gives more information than does either value alone. The higher the ratio, the higher the risk for developing atherosclerosis.

Use of test: Assessment of risk for atherosclerosis, especially coronary artery disease.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides form the main lipid component of the diet. Exogenous triglycerides are transported to the systemic circulation via the thoracic duct. The liver is the major site of endogenous triglycerides synthesis, from fatty acids and glycerol. Triglycerides comprise 95% of fat stored in tissues. Storage triglycerides can be broken down to provide energy for the body.

Use of test: Evaluation of lipid status.

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Liver and Biliary Screen

Total Protein

Serum protein is comprised of albumin and globulin, either bound or acting as carrier proteins. Plasma proteins are mostly synthesized in the liver, except for immunoglobulin, which are synthesized in the lymphoreticular system. They are a source of nutrition and a buffer system. Increased levels of total serum protein occur in conditions like dehydration, haemoconcentration states due to fluid loss. Decreased levels are associated with insufficient nutritional intake, severe liver disease, renal disease and other conditions.

Use of test: Diagnosis and monitoring of hypergammaglobulinaemia and hypogammaglobulinaemia, protein losing states and malnutrition. Used in conjunction with albumin to calculate globulin.

Albumin

Most serum albumin is produced by the liver. It contributes towards maintaining the colloid oncotic pressure of plasma. Albumin also acts as a transport protein for some drugs and substance such as fatty acids, calcium, unconjugated bilirubin, thyroxine and urate. Increased levels may be seen with dehydration. Decreased levels may be associated with conditions such as overhydration, chronic liver disease and protein losing disorders.

Use of test: Evaluation of nutritional status, protein losing disorders, liver disease, dehydration.

Bilirubin (Total)

Bilirubin is formed from the breakdown of haemoglobulin in red blood cells by reticuloendothelial cells mainly in the spleen, liver and bone marrow. Total bilirubin comprises unconjugated, conjugated and delta bilirubins. Bilirubins is removed from the body by the liver, which excretes it into the bile. Elevated serum levels occur if the liver is unable to excrete the normal amount of bilirubin produced or if there is an excessive destruction of red blood cells. Jaundice, a condition with visible yellow colouration of the skin, sclera and mucous membrane is characterized by high levels of bilirubin in the blood.

Use of test: Investigation and monitoring of hepatobiliary disease and haemolysis.

Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)

Alkaline phosphatase is a group of closely related enzymes found in many tissues, with highest concentrations in liver and biliary tract epithelium, bone, intestinal mucosa and placenta. ALP activity is increased in many conditions, the two principal categories being liver and bone diseases.

Use of test: Investigation of hepatobiliary or bone disease.

Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST/SGOT)

AST is an enzyme found in several organs and tissues, including liver, heart, skeletal muscle, kidney, brain, pancreas, spleen and lungs. The enzyme is released into the circulation following the injury or death of cells. Increased levels are found with hepatocellular disease, as well as cardiac and skeletal muscle diseases.

Use of test: Detection and monitoring of liver cell damage.

Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT/SGPT)

ALT is an enzyme found predominantly in liver but with lower concentrations in the kidney, heart and skeletal muscle. In general, most ALT elevations are due to liver disease. ALT is more specific for hepatocellular damage than AST.

Use of test: Detection and monitoring of liver cell damage.

Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)

GGT is an enzyme located mainly in the liver, kidney, biliary tract epithelium, intestine, heart, brain, pancreas and spleen. GGT is affected by both acute liver damage and biliary tract obstruction. The test is used to determine liver cell dysfunction and to detect alcohol-induced liver disease. Pancreatitis and prostatitis may also be associated with increased levels.

Use of test: Evaluation of liver disease.

Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH)

LDH is an intracellular enzyme found in heart, skeletal muscle, red blood cells, brain, lung, liver and kidney. Increases in value usually indicate cellular death and leakage of the enzyme from the cell. A considerable number of conditions can elevate LDH level.

Use of test: A non-specific indicator of disease. Of limited value in supporting the diagnosis of myocardial infarction when testing is required >48 hours after the onset of chest pain. Maybe useful occasionally in the assessment of patients with liver disease or malignancy (especially lymphoma, seminoma, hepatic metastases); anaemia when haemolysis or ineffective erythropoeisis is suspected.

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Urinalaysis

Urine pH

Urine pH is an indicator of the ability of renal tubules to maintain normal hydrogen ion concentration in the plasma and extracellular fluid. Inability to acidify urine may indicate distal renal tubular acidosis. Diet, medication, renal disease and certain metabolic disorders may affect urinary pH.

Use of test: Check for successful therapeutic acidification or alkalinisation.

Urine Albumin

In a healthy renal and urinary tract system, the urine contains no protein or only a slight trace amount of protein. One-third of normal urine protein is albumin. The persistent presence of protein in the urine is the single most important indication of renal disease.

Use of test: Suspected nephrotic syndrome, glomerulonephritis, urinary tract inflammation.

Urine Glucose

Sugar may be present in the urine (glycosuria or glucosuria) when the blood glucose level exceeds the reabsorption capacity of renal tubules. Heavy meal, emotional stress or a low tubular reabsorption rate in some persons may account for glycosuria in the presence of normal blood glucose levels. The most common and important glycosuria occurs in diabetes mellitus.

Use of test: Diabetes mellitus and other causes of hyperglycaemia.

Urine Ketones

Ketones are formed in the liver from the metabolism of fatty acid and fat. The excess presence of ketones (ketonuria) in the urine is associated with diabetes or altered carbohydrate metabolism.

Use of test: Diabetic ketoacidosis, starvation ketosis.

Urine Blood

The presence of blood in urine may be due to red blood cells from inflammation, trauma or tumour of the renal tract. In the female vaginal blood may contaminate ordinary voided urine specimens.

Use of test: One of the early indicators of possible renal or urinary tract disease.

Urine Bilirubin

Urine bilirubin aids in the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment for hepatitis and liver dysfunction. It is an early sign of hepotocellular disease or intrahepatic or extrahepatic biliary obstruction.

Use of test: Differential diagnosis of jaundice.

Urine Urobilinogen

Urine urobilinogen is increased in haemolysis. It is unreliable as a guide to liver disease.

Use of test: Test is not reliable in the assessment of patients with liver disease.

Urine Nitrite

It is positive in most bacterial urinary tract infections. Negative in urinary tract infections caused by Gram-positive organisms or Pseudomonas species. A negative result should never be interpreted as indicating absence of bacteriuria.

Use of test: Screening test for urinary tract infection. Result must be confirmed by urine culture.


Urine FEME

Use of test: Investigation of renal and urinary tract disease and renal involvement in systemic disease.

Urine Red Blood Cell (RBC)

In healthy individuals, RBCs occasionally appear in the urine. Presence of persistent RBCs in urine may be associated with stone, renal disease, tumour, trauma, infections and other conditions including bleeding and clotting disorders. Possible presence of menstrual blood, vaginal bleeding or trauma to perineal area in the female patient should be ruled out.

Urine White Blood Cell (WBC)

Leukocytes (WBCs) may originate anywhere in the genitourinary tract. High counts of leukocytes can be seen in infection of urinary tract and other renal disease. In females, precautions should be taken to avoid artifactual increases in urine WBCs from contamination by vaginal or labial secretions. Culture of urine can be performed to confirm urinary tract infection.

Urine Epithelial Cells

Squamous epithelial cells are common in normal urine samples. They are useful as an index of possible contamination by vaginal secretions in females or by foreskin in uncircumcised males.

Urine Casts

Casts are protein conglomerates that outline the shape of the renal tubules in which they are formed. Fatty casts, RBC casts, white cell casts and mixed cell casts may indicate renal disease. The presence of granular and / or hyaline casts, as an isolated finding, is of uncertain clinical significance. They may be seen in patients with dehydration.

Urine Crystals

A variety of crystals may appear in the urine. The type and quantity of crystalline precipitates vary with the pH of the urine. Although they are seen frequently, they are not usually of any clinical significance. They may, however, be a clue to stone formation and certain metabolic diseases.

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