Blood Result Cross Reference Chart

Blood Test What is the test for High result meaning Low result meaning
Liver

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)

 

Hepatitis

 

 

Very high levels of ALT usually due to acute (short-term) hepatitis, often due to a virus infection or by certain drugs.

 

No issues noted

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) Bile duct blockages An enzyme related to the bile ducts; often increased when they are blocked No issues noted
Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)            Liver damage Very high levels of AST are usually due to a rapidly developing liver disease called acute hepatitis, which is often due to a virus infection, drugs, post heart attack or chronic alcohol disease No issues noted
Total bilirubin To screen for and monitor liver disorders

 

 To screen for and monitor liver disorders, such as jaundice, or liver diseases, such as cirrhosis

 

 No issues noted
Albumin Measures the main protein made by the liver High albumin levels usually reflect dehydration Low albumin levels can suggest liver disease. Liver enzyme tests are requested to help determine which type of liver disease.
Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) An enzyme found mainly in the liver and is a useful marker for detecting bile duct problems Raised GGT levels indicate that something is going on with your liver but not specifically what. In general, the higher the level the greater the damage to your liver. No issues noted
Kidney tests

Total protein

 

Measures albumin and all other proteins in blood, including antibodies made to help fight off infections

 

Higher total protein levels can be due to dehydration or infection and inflammation and high total protein levels may be due to some types of blood cancer that lead to an accumulation of an abnormal protein (such as multiple myeloma).

 

Low total protein levels can suggest a liver disorder (the liver is an important producer of many plasma proteins), a kidney disorder (proteins may be lost from the circulation into the urine due to a kidney disorder) or a disorder in which protein is not digested or absorbed properly

 

 Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) – Uric acid/Urate The most common reasons for accumulation of uric acid are an inherited tendency to overproduce uric acid or poor kidney function which gives decreased ability to excrete uric acid  Increased concentrations of uric acid can cause crystals to form in the joints, which leads to the joint inflammation and pain characteristic of gout. Uric acid can also form crystals or kidney stones that can damage the kidneys

 

No issues noted

 

Creatinine

 

 

 

Creatinine is produced in your muscles when a compound called creatine spontaneously breaks down.

 

 

Increased creatinine levels in the blood suggest diseases that affect kidney function.

 

 

       

Since creatinine levels are in proportion to muscle mass, women tend to have lower levels than men.
Iron Studies

Iron

 

Measures the level of iron in the liquid part of your blood

 

 

High levels of ferritin can occur as the result of many blood transfusions, iron injections into muscle, lead poisoning, liver disease, or kidney disease. Haemochromatosis is the most common cause of high iron

 

A low ferritin level is usually due to iron deficiency, especially if transferrin or TIBC is high. With chronic (long-term) diseases, low, normal or high ferritin can occur with low transferrin or TIBC.

Ferritin Measures the amount of stored iron in your body Ferritin levels are high in states of long-term iron overload, especially in haemochromatosis. However ferritin is also raised in inflammatory states so that its interpretation becomes very difficult in many situations: e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease or inflammatory bowel disease or even malignancy Ferritin levels are low in iron deficiency, falling before the haemoglobin starts falling
TIBC and transferrin

 

Transferrin is the main protein in the blood that binds iron and transports it around the body. These tests either indirectly or directly measure the amount of transferrin in the blood available to transport iron In iron deficiency the TIBC and transferrin may be high. This may seem odd, but remember that the TIBC and transferrin are not measuring the amount of iron in the blood but the ability of the blood to carry iron. It seems that when the body lacks iron, it ‘turns up’ the production of the iron-binding protein transferrin. However, other things can turn the production of transferrin ‘up’ or ‘down’ apart from iron deficiency. For example, in people with chronic inflammatory conditions the transferrin (and TIBC) tend to be low. In women on the oral contraceptive pill, transferrin tends to be high.
Transferrin saturation

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a calculation that represents the percentage of transferrin that is saturated with iron.

 

 

 

 

 

Traditionally > 50% indicate an excess of iron, which can be detrimental to health. High levels usually occur in states of iron overload like haemochromatosis, multiple blood transfusions and cirrhosis

                          

Low levels of transferrin saturation ratio generally indicate iron deficiency

 

Immunity

White blood cell count

 

The white blood cell (WBC) count indicates the number of white blood cells in a sample of blood. This count provides a clue to the presence of illness.

 

An elevated number of white blood cells is called leukocytosis. This can result from bacterial infections, inflammation, leukaemia, trauma or stress.

 

 

A decreased WBC count is called leukopenia. It can result from many different situations, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or diseases of the immune system

 

Antibody testing focuses on specific IgM, IgG, IgA and/or IgE tests.  IgG and IgM tests are used primarily for diagnosis and monitoring of infectious diseases or for determination of immune status. IgE testing is used primarily to identify and monitor allergies to specific substances. IgA testing is used in assessing immune deficiency and in the diagnosis of coeliac disease  High levels of individual IgE antibodies may help diagnose an allergy, but they do not necessarily correlate to the severity of the symptoms that a patient may be experiencing. A patient who has been avoiding an offending substance, such as peanuts, may have low to moderate concentrations of IgE peanut antibodies when tested. However, with subsequent exposure, the person’s peanut antibody concentrations would rise again.

 

 There really isn’t a “normal” antibody concentration since people produce antibodies at different rates. Patients with compromised immune systems may not be able to respond normally, producing fewer antibodies and/or responding more slowly to antigen exposure. The meaning of a particular test result depends on the patient’s symptoms and the specific circumstances that led to testing.
Inflammation Markers

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

 ESR is an indirect measure of the degree of inflammation present in the body. It measures the rate of fall (sedimentation) of erythrocytes (red blood cells) in a tall, thin tube of blood.  A markedly elevated ESR may be associated with infections (including tuberculosis and other generalised infections), inflammation (temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatic) and some cancers (multiple myeloma and other blood cancers in particular). A Moderately elevated ESR may be seen in the above conditions, but also more commonly occurs with inflammatory arthritis, anaemia, aging and pregnancy.

 

 Although a low ESR is not usually important, it can be seen with polycythaemia (a condition where a patient makes too many red blood cells), with extreme leucocytosis (patient has too many white blood cells), and with some protein abnormalities.
 C-reactive protein (CRP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CRP is used to identify the presence of inflammation, to determine its severity, and to monitor response to treatment. A more sensitive form of the test, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), is used to assess your risk of heart disease.

 

A high or increasing amount of CRP in your blood suggests that you have an acute infection or inflammation – most infections and inflammations result in CRP levels above 10 mg/L.                        If the CRP level in your blood drops, it means that you are getting better and inflammation is being reduced

 

 

 

 

Lipids

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL)

 HDL particles remove excess cholesterol from the body. Hence, having a high level of cholesterol carried by HDL particles is generally good and HDL cholesterol is often termed ‘good’ cholesterol.  High HDL cholesterol is better than low HDL cholesterol.  Elevated risk of heart disease
 Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)

 

 

 

LDL is a type of lipoprotein that carries cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) is considered to be undesirable because it deposits excess cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels and contributes to ‘narrowing of the arteries’ and heart disease.

 

Elevated levels of LDL-C indicate risk for heart disease.

 

Lowered levels of LDL-C indicate reduced risk of heart disease

 

 

Triglycerides This test measures the amount of triglycerides in your blood. Triglycerides are the body’s storage form for fat. Most triglycerides are found in adipose (fat) tissue. If you have a high fasting triglyceride level, your health professional may wish to find out whether you have a high fat diet, a high intake of alcohol or have diabetes. It is unusual to have high triglycerides without also having high cholesterol. High triglycerides indicate an increased risk for heart disease Low triglycerides indicate a lowered risk of heart disease
Hormone Testing

Cortisol

 

Cortisol is a steroid hormone, produced by the adrenal gland, in response to the pituitary hormone ACTH. Cortisol is essential for survival. It increases in times of stress and regulates the immune system.

 

High blood and urine levels of cortisol indicate Cushing’s syndrome and excessive stress

 

Low blood and urine levels, on the other hand are less useful for diagnosing Addison’s disease and extreme, unexplained fatigue

 Testosterone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testosterone is a steroid hormone (androgen) made by the testes in males. Its production is stimulated and controlled by luteinising hormone (LH), which is manufactured in the pituitary gland. In males, testosterone stimulates development of secondary sex characteristics, including enlargement of the penis, growth of body hair and muscle, and a deepening voice. It is present in large amounts in males during puberty and in adult males to regulate the sex drive and maintain muscle mass. Testosterone is also produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females and, in small amounts, by the ovaries in females. The body can convert testosterone to oestradiol, the main sex hormone in females. Increased testosterone levels in males can indicate testicular tumours. Increased testosterone in boys is usually the cause of early puberty. In women, increased testosterone levels can indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or an ovarian or adrenal gland tumour

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primary hypogonadism, such as damage to the testes with reduced testosterone as a result, can indicate impaired testosterone production because of alcoholism, physical injury or viral diseases like mumps. Sperm production is also impaired. Genetic diseases also can cause decreased testosterone production in young men (Klinefelter’s, Kallman’s, and Prader-Willi syndromes) or testicular failure and infertility. In secondary hypogonadism however, a decreased testosterone level may indicate hypothalamic or pituitary disease with reduced secretion of LH and FSH. Evaluation of possible causes should also include measurement of prolactin, thyroid hormones and cortisol.

 

Oestrogen

 

Oestrogen forms commonly tested in clinical laboratories are oestrone [E1], oestradiol [oestradiol-17 beta, E2], and oestriol [E3]  Increased or decreased levels of oestrogen are seen in many metabolic conditions. Care must be used in the interpretation of oestrone, oestradiol and oestriol levels because their levels will vary on a day-to-day basis and throughout the menstrual cycle. If your doctor is monitoring your hormone levels, s/he will often be looking at trends in your levels, rising or falling over time, rather than at single values. It must be remembered that a diagnosis cannot be made solely based on one test result.
Progesterone Progesterone is a steroid hormone whose main role is to help prepare a woman’s body for pregnancy; it works together with several other female hormones. Levels of progesterone will be naturally higher during pregnancies that involve multiples (twins, triplets, etc.) than those in which there is only one fetus. Increased progesterone levels are also seen occasionally with luteal ovarian cysts, molar pregnancies, and with a rare form of ovarian cancer.  Increased levels are occasionally due to an overproduction of progesterone by the adrenal glands. If progesterone levels do not rise and fall on a monthly basis, a woman may not be ovulating or having menstrual periods. If levels do not rise normally during an early pregnancy, the pregnancy may be ectopic and/or may be failing.
 Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)   TSH is made by the pituitary gland, a small organ located just below the brain. TSH is one of the pituitary gland’s messengers — it tells the thyroid gland to start making thyroid hormone. A high TSH result often means an underactive thyroid gland caused by failure of the gland (hypothyroidism). Very rarely, a high TSH result can indicate a problem with the pituitary gland, such as a tumour, in what is known as secondary hyperthyroidism. A high TSH value can also occur in people with underactive thyroid glands who have been receiving too little thyroid hormone medication.

 

A high TSH result often means an underactive thyroid gland caused by failure of the gland (hypothyroidism). Very rarely, a high TSH result can indicate a problem with the pituitary gland, such as a tumour, in what is known as secondary hyperthyroidism. A high TSH value can also occur in people with underactive thyroid glands who have been receiving too little thyroid hormone medication.
T3 T3 is one of two major hormones produced by the thyroid gland (the other hormone is called thyroxine, or T4). T3 makes up less than 10 per cent of what we call thyroid hormone, while T4 makes up the rest. T3, however, is about four times as strong as T4, and is thought to cause most, if not all, the effects of thyroid hormones. A high free T3 result may indicate an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Low free T3 results may indicate an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
 T4  T4 is one of two major hormones produced by the thyroid gland (the other is called triiodothyronine, or T3). T4 makes up nearly all of what we call thyroid hormone, while T3 makes up less than 10 per cent. Thyroid hormones help regulate the body’s metabolism (that is, how the body functions).  High free T4 results may indicate an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).  Low free T4 results may indicate an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).