Laboratory Evaluation

Apr 1, 2021 Issue
Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis [Article]

The correct selection and interpretation of CSF tests can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions, including bacterial and viral meningitis, opportunistic central nervous system infections in immunocompromised patients, subarachnoid hemorrhage, spontaneous intracranial hypotension, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and malignancy.

Jul 1, 2019 Issue
Evaluating Diagnostic Tests: Introducing a New Feature in AFP [Editorials]

This new feature cuts through the “hype” and provides independent, objective assessments of new diagnostic tests that readers are considering incorporating into their practices.

Sep 15, 2014 Issue
Can CPOE Systems Decrease Use of Laboratory Studies and Control Costs? [AFP Journal Club]

Can computerized physician order entry systems decrease the use of laboratory studies? An intervention's durability (ability to provide sustained results) is important to consider before implementing the intervention based on a study's results.

Nov 1, 2011 Issue
Causes and Evaluation of Mildly Elevated Liver Transaminase Levels [Article]

Mild elevations in levels of the liver enzymes alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase are commonly discovered in asymptomatic patients in primary care. Evidence to guide the diagnostic workup is limited. If the history and physical examination do not suggest a cause, a stepwise evaluation s...

Mar 15, 2005 Issue
Mildly Elevated Liver Transaminase Levels in the Asymptomatic Patient [Article]

Mild elevations in liver chemistry tests such as alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase can reveal serious underlying conditions or have transient and benign etiologies. Potential causes of liver transaminase elevations include viral hepatitis, alcohol use, medication use, steatosis or stea...

Jan 1, 2005 Issue
Understanding and Interpreting the Serum Protein Electrophoresis [Article]

Serum protein electrophoresis is used to identify patients with multiple myeloma and other serum protein disorders. Electrophoresis separates proteins based on their physical properties, and the subsets of these proteins are used in interpreting the results. Plasma protein levels display reasonably ...

Nov 1, 2000 Issue
Leukocytosis: Basics of Clinical Assessment [Article]

Leukocytosis, a common laboratory finding, is most often due to relatively benign conditions (infections or inflammatory processes). Much less common but more serious causes include primary bone marrow disorders. The normal reaction of bone marrow to infection or inflammation leads to an increase in...

Oct 1, 1999 Issue
Clinical Utility of the Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate [Article]

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) determination is a commonly performed laboratory test with a time-honored role. However, the usefulness of this test has decreased as new methods of evaluating disease have been developed. The test remains helpful in the specific diagnosis of a few conditions...

Apr 15, 1999 Issue
Special Considerations in Interpreting Liver Function Tests [Article]

A number of pitfalls can be encountered in the interpretation of common blood liver function tests. These tests can be normal in patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. The normal range for aminotransferase levels is slightly higher in males, nonwhites and obese persons. Severe alcoholic hepat...

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