Diagnostic Tests – Quick Reference

This is a quick explanation of abbreviations and terminology used for common diagnostic tests ordered by the veterinarian.  It does not attempt to describe every scenario in which the tests might be performed.  In parentheses is the primary purpose of the test.

Abantibody test for exposure to a particular antigen
ACTactivated clotting time (bleeding disorders)
ACTHadrenocorticotropic hormone (adrenal gland function)
Agantigen test for proteins specific to a disease causing organism or virus
Albalbumin (liver, kidney and intestinal disorders)
Alk Phos, ALPalkaline phosphatase (liver and adrenal disorders)
Allergy Testingintradermal or blood antibody test for allergen hypersensitivity
ALTalanine aminotransferase (liver disorder)
Amylamylase enzyme – non specific (pancreatitis)
ANAantinuclear antibody (systemic lupus erythematosus)
AnaplasmosisAnaplasma spp. (tick-borne rickettsial disease)
APTTactivated partial thromboplastin time (blood clotting ability)
ASTaspartate aminotransferase (muscle and liver disorders)
Bandband cell – type of white blood cell
Basobasophil – type of white blood cell
Bile Acidsdigestive acids produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder (liver function)
Bilibilirubin (bile pigment responsible for jaundice from liver disease or RBC destruction)
BPblood pressure measurement
BUNblood urea nitrogen (kidney and liver function)
Bxbiopsy
C & Saerobic / anaerobic bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity test (infection, drug selection)
Ca+2calcium ion – unbound calcium (parathyroid gland function)
CBCcomplete blood count (all circulating cells)
Cholcholesterol (liver, thyroid disorders)
CK, CPKcreatine [phospho]kinase (muscle disease, heart disease)
Cl-chloride ion – unbound chloride (hydration, blood pH)
CO2carbon dioxide (blood pH)
Contrast Radiographx-ray image using injected radiopaque contrast media
Cortisolhormone produced by the adrenal glands (adrenal gland function)
Coomb’santi- red blood cell antibody test (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia)
Creacreatinine (kidney function)
CRTcapillary refill time (blood pressure, tissue perfusion)
DTMdermatophyte test medium (ringworm – dermatophytosis)
EEGelectroencephalogram (brain function, epilepsy)
EhrlichiaEhrlichia spp. (tick-borne rickettsial disease)
EKG, ECGelectrok[c]ardiogram (electrical heart activity, heart arryhthmia)
Eoseosinophil – type of white blood cell
Fecal,flotation,directintestinal parasite exam
FeLVFeline Leukemia Virus test
FIAFeline Infectious Anemia: aka Feline Hemotrophic Mycoplasma, Haemobartonella felis test
FIVFeline Immunodeficiency Virus test
Fluorescein Stainfluorescein stain uptake of cornea (corneal ulceration)
fT4, fT4ed, freeT4edthyroxine hormone unbound by protein measured by equilibrium dialysis (thyroid function)
GGTgamma-glutamyltranferase (liver disorders)
Globglobulin (liver, immune system)
Glublood or urine glucose (diabetes mellitus)
Grangranulocytes – subgroup of white blood cells
Hb, Hgbhemoglobin – iron rich protein bound to red blood cells that carries oxygen (anemia, red cell mass)
HCO3-bicarbonate ion (blood pH)
HCT, PCV, MHCThematocrit, packed-cell volume, microhematocrit (hemoconcentration, dehydration, anemia)
K+potassium ion – unbound potassium (kidney disorders, adrenal gland disorders)
Lipalipase enzyme – non specific (pancreatitis)
LYMEBorrelia spp. (tick-borne rickettsial disease)
Lymphlymphocyte – type of white blood cell
MCHCmean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (anemia, iron deficiency)
MCVmean corpuscular volume – average red cell size (anemia, iron deficiency)
Mg+2magnesium ion – unbound magnesium (diabetes, parathyroid function, malnutrition)
MHCT, HCT, PCVmicrohematocrit, hematocrit, packed-cell volume (hemoconcentration, dehydration, anemia)
MICminimum inhibitory concentration – part of the C&S that determines antimicrobial selection
Monomonocyte – type of white blood cell
MRImagnetic resonance imaging (advanced tissue imaging)
Na+sodium ion – unbound sodium (dehydration, adrenal gland disease)
nRBCnucleated red blood cell – immature red blood cell (bone marrow damage, lead toxicity)
PCV, HCT, MHCTpacked-cell volume, hematocrit, microhematocrit (hemoconcentration, dehydration, anemia)
PEphysical examination
pHurine pH (urinary tract infection, urolithiasis)
Phosphosphorus (kidney disorders, ketoacidosis, parathyroid function)
PLIpancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (pancreatitis)
PLTplatelet – cells involved in clotting (bleeding disorders)
PTprothrombin time (bleeding disorders)
PTHparathyroid hormone, parathormone (parathyroid function)
Radiographx-ray image
RBCred blood cell count (anemia)
RELRocky Mountain Spotted Fever / Ehrlichia / Lyme combination test
Reticreticulocyte – immature red blood cell (regenerative vs. non-regenerative anemia)
RMSFRocky Mountain Spotted Fever
SAPserum alkaline phosphatase (liver disorders)
Schirmer Tear Testtear production test (keratoconjunctivitis sicca – dry eye,)
Segsegmented neutrophil – type of white blood cell
USGUrine specific gravity (urine concentration, kidney function)
spec cPLspecific canine pancreatic lipase (pancreatitis) –replaces the PLI test
spec fPLspecific feline pancreatic lipase (pancreatitis) –replaces the PLI test
T4thyroxine hormone – total (thyroid gland function)
TLItrypsin-like immunoreactivity (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency)
TPtotal protein (hydration, liver disorders)
TPRtemperature / pulse / respirations (physical exam vital signs)
Trigtriglycerides (fat metabolism, liver disorders)
TSHthyroid stimulating hormone (thyroid gland function)
UAurinalysis (kidney function, urinary tract infection, diabetes)
Urine Cortisol-Crea Ratiourine cortisol-creatine ratio (screening test for adrenal gland disease)
Urine Protein-Crea Ratiourine protein-creatinine ratio (kidney disorders)
VWFVonWillebrands factor (bleeding disorder)
WBCwhite blood cell count (infection, inflammation, bone marrow suppression)