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.

Ab antibody test for exposure to a particular antigen
ACT activated clotting time (bleeding disorders)
ACTH adrenocorticotropic hormone (adrenal gland function)
Ag antigen test for proteins specific to a disease causing organism or virus
Alb albumin (liver, kidney and intestinal disorders)
Alk Phos, ALP alkaline phosphatase (liver and adrenal disorders)
Allergy Testing intradermal or blood antibody test for allergen hypersensitivity
ALT alanine aminotransferase (liver disorder)
Amyl amylase enzyme – non specific (pancreatitis)
ANA antinuclear antibody (systemic lupus erythematosus)
Anaplasmosis Anaplasma spp. (tick-borne rickettsial disease)
APTT activated partial thromboplastin time (blood clotting ability)
AST aspartate aminotransferase (muscle and liver disorders)
Band band cell – type of white blood cell
Baso basophil – type of white blood cell
Bile Acids digestive acids produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder (liver function)
Bili bilirubin (bile pigment responsible for jaundice from liver disease or RBC destruction)
BP blood pressure measurement
BUN blood urea nitrogen (kidney and liver function)
Bx biopsy
C & S aerobic / anaerobic bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity test (infection, drug selection)
Ca+2 calcium ion – unbound calcium (parathyroid gland function)
CBC complete blood count (all circulating cells)
Chol cholesterol (liver, thyroid disorders)
CK, CPK creatine [phospho]kinase (muscle disease, heart disease)
Cl- chloride ion – unbound chloride (hydration, blood pH)
CO2 carbon dioxide (blood pH)
Contrast Radiograph x-ray image using injected radiopaque contrast media
Cortisol hormone produced by the adrenal glands (adrenal gland function)
Coomb’s anti- red blood cell antibody test (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia)
Crea creatinine (kidney function)
CRT capillary refill time (blood pressure, tissue perfusion)
DTM dermatophyte test medium (ringworm – dermatophytosis)
EEG electroencephalogram (brain function, epilepsy)
Ehrlichia Ehrlichia spp. (tick-borne rickettsial disease)
EKG, ECG electrok[c]ardiogram (electrical heart activity, heart arryhthmia)
Eos eosinophil – type of white blood cell
Fecal,flotation,direct intestinal parasite exam
FeLV Feline Leukemia Virus test
FIA Feline Infectious Anemia: aka Feline Hemotrophic Mycoplasma, Haemobartonella felis test
FIV Feline Immunodeficiency Virus test
Fluorescein Stain fluorescein stain uptake of cornea (corneal ulceration)
fT4, fT4ed, freeT4ed thyroxine hormone unbound by protein measured by equilibrium dialysis (thyroid function)
GGT gamma-glutamyltranferase (liver disorders)
Glob globulin (liver, immune system)
Glu blood or urine glucose (diabetes mellitus)
Gran granulocytes – subgroup of white blood cells
Hb, Hgb hemoglobin – iron rich protein bound to red blood cells that carries oxygen (anemia, red cell mass)
HCO3- bicarbonate ion (blood pH)
HCT, PCV, MHCT hematocrit, packed-cell volume, microhematocrit (hemoconcentration, dehydration, anemia)
K+ potassium ion – unbound potassium (kidney disorders, adrenal gland disorders)
Lipa lipase enzyme – non specific (pancreatitis)
LYME Borrelia spp. (tick-borne rickettsial disease)
Lymph lymphocyte – type of white blood cell
MCHC mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (anemia, iron deficiency)
MCV mean corpuscular volume – average red cell size (anemia, iron deficiency)
Mg+2 magnesium ion – unbound magnesium (diabetes, parathyroid function, malnutrition)
MHCT, HCT, PCV microhematocrit, hematocrit, packed-cell volume (hemoconcentration, dehydration, anemia)
MIC minimum inhibitory concentration – part of the C&S that determines antimicrobial selection
Mono monocyte – type of white blood cell
MRI magnetic resonance imaging (advanced tissue imaging)
Na+ sodium ion – unbound sodium (dehydration, adrenal gland disease)
nRBC nucleated red blood cell – immature red blood cell (bone marrow damage, lead toxicity)
PCV, HCT, MHCT packed-cell volume, hematocrit, microhematocrit (hemoconcentration, dehydration, anemia)
PE physical examination
pH urine pH (urinary tract infection, urolithiasis)
Phos phosphorus (kidney disorders, ketoacidosis, parathyroid function)
PLI pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity (pancreatitis)
PLT platelet – cells involved in clotting (bleeding disorders)
PT prothrombin time (bleeding disorders)
PTH parathyroid hormone, parathormone (parathyroid function)
Radiograph x-ray image
RBC red blood cell count (anemia)
REL Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever / Ehrlichia / Lyme combination test
Retic reticulocyte – immature red blood cell (regenerative vs. non-regenerative anemia)
RMSF Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
SAP serum alkaline phosphatase (liver disorders)
Schirmer Tear Test tear production test (keratoconjunctivitis sicca – dry eye,)
Seg segmented neutrophil – type of white blood cell
USG Urine specific gravity (urine concentration, kidney function)
spec cPL specific canine pancreatic lipase (pancreatitis) –replaces the PLI test
spec fPL specific feline pancreatic lipase (pancreatitis) –replaces the PLI test
T4 thyroxine hormone – total (thyroid gland function)
TLI trypsin-like immunoreactivity (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency)
TP total protein (hydration, liver disorders)
TPR temperature / pulse / respirations (physical exam vital signs)
Trig triglycerides (fat metabolism, liver disorders)
TSH thyroid stimulating hormone (thyroid gland function)
UA urinalysis (kidney function, urinary tract infection, diabetes)
Urine Cortisol-Crea Ratio urine cortisol-creatine ratio (screening test for adrenal gland disease)
Urine Protein-Crea Ratio urine protein-creatinine ratio (kidney disorders)
VWF VonWillebrands factor (bleeding disorder)
WBC white blood cell count (infection, inflammation, bone marrow suppression)