Category Archives: Diagnonistic Test

Lipid profile or Lipid panel

Definition:
A complete cholesterol test — also called a lipid panel or lipid profile: — It is a blood test that can measure the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. A cholesterol test can help determine your risk of atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaques in your arteries that can lead to narrowed or blocked arteries throughout your body. High cholesterol levels usually don’t cause and signs or symptoms, so a cholesterol test is an important tool. High cholesterol levels are a significant risk factor for heart disease.

An extended lipid profile may include very low-density lipoprotein. This is used to identify hyperlipidemia (various disturbances of cholesterol and triglyceride levels), many forms of which are recognized risk factors for cardiovascular disease and sometimes pancreatitis.

It is recommended that healthy adults with no other risk factors for heart disease be tested with a fasting lipid profile once every five years. Individuals may also be screened using only a cholesterol test and not a full lipid profile. However, if the cholesterol test result is high, there may be the need to have follow-up testing with a lipid profile.

 

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If there are other risk factors or the individual has had a high cholesterol level in the past, regular testing is needed and the individual should have a full lipid profile.

For children and adolescents at low risk, lipid testing is usually not ordered routinely. However, screening with a lipid profile is recommended for children and youths who are at an increased risk of developing heart disease as adults. Some of the risk factors are similar to those in adults and include a family history of heart disease or health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), or being overweight. High-risk children should have their first lipid profile between 2 and 10 years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children younger than 2 years old are too young to be tested.

A total cholesterol reading can be used to assess an individual’s risk for heart disease, however, it should not be relied upon as the only indicator. The individual components that make up total cholesterol reading –- LDL, HDL, and VLDL –- are also important in measuring risk.

For instance, one’s total cholesterol may be high, but this may be due to very high good (HDL) cholesterol levels –- which can actually help prevent heart disease. So, while a high total cholesterol level may help give an indication that that there is a problem with cholesterol levels, the components that make up total cholesterol should also be measured.

The “lipid profile” is a popular component of master health check ups.There is no ideal age for the first evaluation. Elevated levels have been found in children as young as two if there is a history of adults in the family having elevated lipids or early heart attacks. Genetic studies have consistently shown changes in the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus in affected families. But for this gene to express itself, environmental factors like diet, obesity and inactivity also play a part.

If there is no such family history, lipids should be evaluated for the first time at the age of 20. If the results are “desirable”, the next reading can be taken after five years. In an older person (over 45 in men and 55 in women) the values need to be checked every year.

The blood should be taken after a nine-hour fast (water can be consumed). There should be no fever, infection, inflammation or pregnancy as these can alter the values.

Everyone has fat deposits under the skin, where it serves as insulation against heat and cold. Cholesterol is a fat that is produced by the liver and is essential for normal metabolism. It is not soluble in blood, it is transported through the body by LDL (low density lipoproteins), HDL (high density lipoproteins) and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins). Of these HDL is a “good” lipid as it transports excess cholesterol to the liver for excretion. VLDL and LDL transport cholesterol from the liver back into the blood.

As long as blood cholesterol remains in the normal range, the blood circulates freely. When levels are elevated, it precipitates in the blood vessels, forming obstructive deposits called plaques. This eventually leads to high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

TGL or triglycerides are different from cholesterol. They are derived from food when the calorie intake is greater than the requirement. It combines with cholesterol and gets deposited in the blood vessels.

A person with elevated lipids may develop a yellow deposit of cholesterol under the skin, usually around the eyelids. They may also have a crease on the earlobes.

A fat deposit (lipoma) can appear as a painless mobile lump just under the skin anywhere in the body. When multiple, it is a hereditary condition called multiple lipomatosis. These are not markers for elevated lipids. The lumps are not cancerous but may be cosmetically unacceptable. They do not respond to the lipid lowering medications and need to be surgically removed.

An elevated lipid profile can often be reversed by changes in lifestyle. Quit smoking immediately and drink in moderation only — two drinks a day for men and one for women. The much publicised cardio protective actions of alcohol are outweighed by the other problems of regular drinking.

Try to achieve ideal body weight and bring down the BMI (body mass index, which is found by dividing the weight by the height in metre squared) to 23. This can only be achieved with a combination of diet and exercise. Try to stop snacking, especially on fried items and “ready to eat” snacks. Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables to 4-6 helpings a day. Walnuts, almonds and fish are rich in protective omega -3 fatty acids and Pufa (poly unsaturated fatty acids). Oats contains dietary fibre. Lower oil consumption to 300ml per month per family member. Try to use olive oil. If that is not practical or feasible, use a mixture of equal quantities of rice bran oil, sesame oil, mustard oil and groundnut oil.

Exercise aerobically (walking, running, jogging or swimming) for 60 minutes a day. This need not be done at one stretch but can be split into as many as six 10-minute sessions.

If lipids are still elevated after 3-6 months despite these interventions, speak to your physician about regular medication.

The “statin” group of drugs are very effective. They lower cholesterol, prevent its deposition and stabilise the plaques in the blood vessels. They can be combined with other drugs like ezetimibe (which limit the absorption of cholesterol), or bile acid binding resins, or niacin or fibrates. Natural supplements of fish oil or pure omega-3 fatty acid capsules also help. Lipid lowering medications are usually well tolerated and very effective.

Resources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholesterol-test/MY00500
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lipid_profile
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1120730/jsp/knowhow/story_15788559.jsp

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Transrectal Ultrasound and Biopsy of the Prostate

What is the test?
Your doctor is likely to recommend this test if you’ve had a rectal exam or blood tests that suggest that you might have prostate cancer. For this test, a urologist takes tissue samples from several places in your prostate, to be examined for cancer. A transrectal ultrasound helps the urologist see the prostate during the procedure.

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How do you prepare for the test?
Some doctors recommend that you have an enema before the test. Tell your doctor if you have any allergies, especially to antibiotics.

What happens when the test is performed?
In most cases, you lie on your side with your knees bent up to your chest. An ultrasound machine’s sensor-a short rod about the width around of two fingers-is covered with a condom and clear jelly and gently inserted into your rectum. You may feel some pressure similar to the sensation before a bowel movement. Once the sensor is in place, an image of your prostate appears on a video screen.

The ultrasound sensor surveys the whole prostate gland and pinpoints specific areas for biopsy. Then the doctor removes this ultrasound sensor and replaces it with a slightly smaller one. In addition to generating an ultrasound image, the smaller sensor has a small tube on its side called a needle guide. Your doctor points the needle guide at specific parts of your prostate. The guide releases a spring-loaded needle to take biopsies from different parts of the prostate. The spring-loading allows this needle to move into and out of the prostate very quickly. You are likely to feel some discomfort from each biopsy, but because the needle moves so quickly, any pain lasts only for a second at a time. Doctors usually collect multiple samples.Your doctor will probably give you antibiotics at the end of this procedure to prevent infection.

What risks are there from the test?
Many people have some blood in their urine or stool for a day or two after the biopsy. The only significant risk is the possibility of an infection in the prostate, but antibiotics can help prevent this.

Must you do anything special after the test is over?
Call your doctor if you develop a fever.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
A pathologist will examine the biopsies under a microscope for cancer. This process usually requires several days.

For more knowledge & information you may click :-http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/457757-overview

Source:https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/transrectal-ultrasound-and-biopsy-of-the-prostate.shtml

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Testing for Vaginitis (Yeast Infections, Trichomonas, and Gardnerella)

Posterior half of uterus and upper part of vag...

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What is the test?
Vaginitis is inflammation or an infection of the vagina; symptoms usually include itchiness or irritation, abnormal discharge, and an unpleasant odor. Diagnosing the cause of vaginitis involves a simple examination of the vaginal fluid under a microscope or sending the sample to a laboratory for a culture….CLICK & SEE

How do you prepare for the test?
Because douches or vaginal creams can make it hard for the doctor to interpret test results, don’t use these products before the test. No other preparation is necessary.


What happens when the test is performed?

You’ll have a pelvic examination. The doctor uses a cotton swab to collect a sample of the fluid that moistens the lining of the vagina. This swab is rubbed against two glass slides, and a small drop of fluid is placed on each slide to mix with the vaginal fluid. If your doctor is testing for infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia, he or she might use a second cotton swab to take a sample of mucus from the middle of the cervix.

Your doctor or a technician examines the slides under a microscope for signs of infection with yeast, a tiny parasite called Trichomonas, or a bacterium called Gardnerella (which causes an infection called bacterial vaginosis). If a second cotton swab was used, the doctor sends it to a laboratory for gonorrhea or chlamydia testing.

A pelvic examination assesses the health of your vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. This exam may be done in conjunction with a diagnostic or screening test. You lie on your back on an examining table with your knees bent and your feet in footrests. The doctor or the doctor’s assistant asks you to spread your knees apart. The exam has two parts: a speculum examination and a bimanual examination. The speculum examination allows the doctor to see inside you, and the bimanual examination allows him or her to feel inside you.

During the first part of the examination, the doctor inserts a speculum, a device used to separate the walls of your vagina (normally the walls are touching each other) so that he or she can see inside. You will feel some pressure when the doctor inserts the speculum. As it is inserted, the doctor also shines a light inside you, and can see the walls of your vagina as well as the cervix-the outermost part of your uterus. If you have a vaginal infection, an abnormal discharge may be visible in the vagina. The doctor can take a sample of that discharge and study it under a microscope to diagnose what kind of infection you have.

In the center of the cervix is a channel called the cervical os that leads to the interior of your uterus. If there is bleeding in the uterus, bloody material may be seen coming out through the cervical os. If there is an infection in the uterus, pus can be seen coming out through the os. With certain infections, the outer surface of the cervix can appear irritated, or may have tiny areas of bleeding.

Even if everything looks normal, the doctor may do a routine screening test such as a Pap smear or a diagnostic test such as an endometrial biopsy or colposcopy. These techniques identify various diseases or conditions that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

During the bimanual examination, the doctor determines the size and shape of your uterus. He or she presses inside your vagina with one or two fingers while pressing on your lower abdomen with the other hand. In this way, the uterus is lifted up toward your abdominal wall, making it easier to feel between the two hands. The doctor can feel if the uterus is enlarged, or whether it is lumpy from fibroids (very common but benign growths on or in the wall of the uterus). The doctor also sometimes can feel the ovaries and any masses in the fallopian tubes (the tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries into the uterus). Sometimes he or she will insert another finger into your rectum, to better feel the area between the uterus and rectum. That finger can also feel for any lumps in the wall of the rectum, and can obtain a sample of stool to be tested for any sign of bleeding.

What risks are there from the test?
There are no risks from this test.

Must   you do anything special after the test is over?
No.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
Your doctor can tell you what he or she saw under the microscope right away. Testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia usually requires a few days. Yeast infections are the most common type of vaginal infection, affecting three out of four women at one point or another in their lives.Although a number of over-the-counter medications are available to treat yeast infections, it is best to consult a doctor before treating yourself-especially if you have never had a yeast infection before.

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/testing-for-vaginitis.shtml

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Pelvic Ultrasound and Transvaginal Ultrasound

Alternative  Names:Endovaginal ultrasound; Ultrasound – transvaginal; Sonohysterography; Hysterosonography; Saline infusion sonography; SIS
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Definition:
Ultrasound uses sound waves instead of radiation to generate snapshots or moving pictures of structures inside the body. This imaging technique works in a manner similar to radar and sonar, developed in World War II to detect airplanes, missiles, and submarines that were otherwise invisible. After coating your skin with a lubricant to reduce friction, a radiologist or ultrasound technician places an ultrasound transducer, which looks like a microphone, on your skin and may rub it back and forth to get the right view. The transducer sends sound waves into your body and picks up the echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off internal organs and tissue. A computer transforms these echoes into an image that is displayed on a monitor.

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Pelvic organ ultrasound is used to monitor pregnancy, find cysts on your ovaries, examine the lining of your uterus, look for causes of infertility, and find cancers or benign tumors in the pelvic region. Depending on the view needed, the ultrasound sensor is placed either on your abdomen (pelvic ultrasound) or in your vagina (transvaginal ultrasound).

Pelvic ultrasound, primarily performed on females is most frequently used for evaluation of pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, inflammatory disease, or detection of a mass. Pelvic ultrasound may help explain findings from a manual examination and provide additional information. Pelvic ultrasound examination will generally result in good depiction of the bladder, uterus, and ovaries.

In some patients, transvaginal ultrasound, which involves the insertion of a small transducer (probe) into the vagina, may be necessary to provide a complete analysis of the ovaries and uterine endometrial lining. Early pregnancy or body habitus (obesity) can obscure adequate evaluation of some structures. The decision to use transvaginal ultrasound is determined by the radiologist following pelvic ultrasound.

Pelvic ultrasound generally requires a full bladder and is performed with the patient lying flat on a padded table. Transvaginal ultrasound testing requires the patient to empty their bladder in the restroom and return to the scanning room for a transvaginal examination. Patients are asked disrobe from the waist down with hips elevated by folded towels or a foam pad. Patients usually insert the probe themselves, but can be assisted.

How to prepare for the test.
You will be asked to undress, usually from the waist down.
Your doctor might ask you to drink a few glasses of water before the test because a full bladder lifts your intestines out of the way and provides a clearer view of your pelvic organs. If you’re having a transvaginal ultrasound and have a tampon in place, you’ll need to remove it before the test.

A full bladder is essential for adequate visualization of the pelvic region.

* Finish drinking 4 glasses (32 ounces total) of water one hour prior to your appointment. It is important to drink water only. Do not substitute other beverages.

* Do not empty your bladder prior to the exam.

* Eat as you normally would before and after the examination and return to your usual or recommended activities after the exam.

To avoid delay or rescheduling of your pelvic / transvaginal ultrasound examination, follow preparation instructions carefully.

* Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to register for your test.

* The length of time needed to complete this examination will vary depending on the information needed. Plan for up to 45 minutes to complete your exam.

How the Test is Performed
You will lie down on a table with your knees bent and feet in holders called stirrups. The health care provider will place a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel. The probe sends out sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these waves and uses them to create a picture. The doctor can immediately see the picture on a nearby TV monitor.

The health care provider will move the probe within the area to see the pelvic organs. This test can be used during pregnancy.

In some cases, a special transvaginal ultrasound method called saline infusion sonography (SIS), also called sonohysterography or hysterosonography, may be needed to more clearly view the uterus.

This test requires saline (sterile salt water) to be placed into the uterus before the ultrasound. The saline helps outline any abnormal masses, so the doctor can get a better idea of their size.

SIS is not done on pregnant women.

What happens when the test is performed.

You lie on your back on a table for the test. For a pelvic ultrasound, after squirting some clear jelly onto your lower abdomen to help the ultrasound sensor slide around easily, a doctor or technician places the sensor against your skin. For a transvaginal ultrasound, the doctor or technician covers a sensor with a condom and some jelly before inserting it into your vagina.When the sensor is in place, a picture will appear on a video screen. The technician or doctor moves the sensor on your abdomen or in your vagina to see the uterus and ovaries from many different views.

How the Test Will Feel
The test is usually painless, although some women may have mild discomfort from the pressure of the probe. Only a small part of the probe is placed into the vagina.

Risk Factors:
There are no known harmful effects of transvaginal ultrasound on humans.

Unlike traditional x-rays, there is no radiation exposure with this test.

How long is it before the result of the test is known.

If a doctor does the test, you might be able to get preliminary results immediately; this will not be possible if a technician performs the test.Whether a doctor or technician performs the test, he or she records it on a videotape so that it can be formally reviewed by a radiologist. Your doctor should receive the radiologist’s report in a day or two.

Results:
Normal Results

The pelvic structures or fetus are normal.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An abnormal result may be due to many conditions. Some problems that may be seen include:

* Cancers of the uterus, ovaries, vagina, and other pelvic structures
* Non-cancerous growths of the uterus and ovaries (such as cysts or fibroids)
* Twisting of the ovaries
* Infection, including pelvic inflammatory disease
* Birth defects

Some problems that may be found specifically in pregnant women include:

* Ectopic pregnancy
* More than one fetus (twins, triplets, etc.)
* Miscarriage
* Placenta previa
* Placental abruption
* Tumors of pregnancy including gestational trophoblastic disease

Resources:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/pelvic-ultrasound-and-transvaginal-ultrasound.shtml
http://www.tacomarad.com/exams/ultrasound/pelvic.html
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003779.htm

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Enhanced Alpha Fetoprotein Test (“Triple Screen”)

Definition:This is a  blood test that measures the levels of alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), a protein released by the fetal liver and found in the mother’s blood. AFP is sometimes called MSAFP (maternal serum AFP )  This blood test for pregnant women, also called a “triple screen,” checks the levels of protein and hormones being produced by the fetus. The levels of three different substances together can enable doctors to identify pregnancies that are at a higher risk for birth defects such as Down syndrome or neural tube defects (brain and spinal cord problems). If the blood test suggests problems, your doctor might recommend additional tests, such as amniocentesis or fetal ultrasound, to confirm the findings.
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The alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test is available to women between their 15th and 20th week of pregnancy to screen for fetal abnormalities. This simple blood test measures the level of a protein called alpha-fetoprotein which is secreted by the liver of the fetus and enters the mother’s blood stream. Elevated levels of AFP may indicate an increased risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida or anencephaly, while low levels suggest Down Syndrome or other chromosomal defects.

The AFP test does not determine the existence of these genetic disorders; it only predicts their likelihood. And while the AFP test is most often used to screen for these defects, it can also be used to identify abdominal wall defects, some renal and urinary tract abnormalities, Turner syndrome, low birth weight, and placental complications. An incorrectly-calculated gestational age and multiple fetuses can also cause abnormal AFP levels.


How do you prepare for the test?

* Before having this test done, you need to think carefully about what you would do with the results once you have them. The results of this blood test cannot show for sure whether you have either a healthy fetus or one with a problem; it can only suggest which patients might want to go ahead with further testing. Because amniocentesis (the test that is usually recommended after an abnormal triple screen) has a small risk of miscarriage, and because most people with an abnormal triple screen decide to go ahead with amniocentesis, this is an important decision. You should have this test done only if you think the information it offers would help you to make decisions about your pregnancy.

What happens when the test is performed?

* Your blood is drawn for this test sometime between your 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy. The blood is tested for three protein and hormone levels: maternal serum alpha fetoprotein (MSAFP), unconjugated estriol (uE3), and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Your doctor needs to weigh you on the day you have your blood drawn and ask when your last period began or what your expected due date is. The analysis of the results will take into account your weight and stage of pregnancy to determine whether the levels are normal.

What risks are there from the test?

* There are no risks from this test itself, but there are some risks from tests that might be recommended if the test result comes back abnormal (see-> “Amniocentesis,” ). This test can be stressful for expectant parents. Several things can cause the test to come back as abnormal even when there are no real health problems. Confusing results can happen, for example, in twin pregnancies and when mistakes have been made in estimating the age of the pregnancy.

How long is it before the result of the test is known?
The test results are available to your doctor within two or three days.

For more information You may click to see:->

Health informations for pregnant women:
Pregnancy & Childbirth :
Integrated test during pregnancy:
Common Tests During Pregnancy:
Glossary:  From “abdomen” to “zygote,” here’s your guide to pregnancy terminology.
:
High-Risk Pregnancy :
Healthy & Safe Pregnancy
:

Resources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/diagnostics/AFP/AFP.shtml?Submit=Know+More+About+This+Test%3F
http://www.parentingweekly.com/pregnancy/pregnancy_information/afp_test.htm