19 Often Used Abbreviations in Blood Tests

Blood tests are used to determine many medical conditions. They are often used to check if drugs are present in a person's system, if medications for an illness are effective, if there are any mineral imbalance within the body and if the organs are functioning properly. It is highly possible that you will require a blood test at one point in your life. There are numerous blood test abbreviations, knowledge of these abbreviations will help you ascertain what blood tests results mean, and help you gather a clear understanding of blood tests in general.

11 Common Blood Test Abbreviations

There are 11 common blood test abbreviations, understanding what they mean will help you further understand your blood test results.

Blood Test Abbreviation

Description

HDL & LDL

This refers to the measurement of good cholesterol (HDL or high-density lipoprotein) and bad cholesterol (LDL or low-density lipoprotein) within your blood. HDL helps to limit LDL, meaning high levels of HDL is a good thing and can help to prevent things such as heart disease.

CPR

Elevated CPR, or C-Reactive Protein, levels indicate inflammation within the body. Short spikes can be expected in some instances, for example,when the immune system battles infection. Consistenthigh levels of CPR can indicate underlying health problems.

CBC

CBC, or complete blood count, is a test comprising of 15 different readings that helps to give your health care provider an account of your overall health. The tests measure numerous things within your blood, like red and white blood cell levels.

TSH

TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, helps to regulate the function of your thyroid, which keeps your metabolism functioning properly. Low levels of TSH can lead to weight loss and anxiety; high levels can lead to weight gain, depression and fatigue. Normal level is said to be between 0.35 and 3uIU/ml.

Vitamin D

Although this is not always included in standard blood tests, testing for levels of vitamin D in the blood is also very important. High levels can be toxic, and low levels can cause you to feel fatigued and achy.

FBC

Health care professionals use FBC, or full blood count, to get an overall picture of your health. Usually,these tests don’t pinpoint specific illnesses, but they can help to point your doctor in the right diagnosis direction.

ESR

An ESR, or erythrocyte sedimentation rate, test measures the time it takes for red blood cells to descend to the bottom of a test tube. The more rapid they fall, the more likely it is that high levels of inflammation have occurred.

INR

INR, or international normalized ratio, test is used to determine whether you blood is clotting normally. It also assesses the effectiveness of Warfarin therapy which slows down the clotting of the blood and is used to aid in preventing thrombosis.

LFT

The LFT, or liver function test, measures numerous proteins, enzymes and waste products processed or made by the liver. This can help to identify many liver complications, as well as gall stones. It is important to remember that some medications can affect the results of an LFT, making it inaccurate.

Urate

Urate is a breakdown product of RNA and DNA, which is usually excreted out of the body through urine. If there are high levels of urate in the blood, it can crystalize and lead to gout or inflammation in the joints. This test checks for levels of urate to determine whether there are any abnormalities.

CMP

A CMP, or comprehensive metabolic panel, provides your health care provider with a distinct picture of your body's metabolism and chemical balance. A CMP will check your levels of numerous substances, including bilirubin, albumin, calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride, etc.

8 Other Blood Test Abbreviations for You

Blood tests reports contain a vast amount of abbreviations that can be confusing. In the hope of further clarifying what they mean, below are 8 other blood test abbreviations that you should know:

Abbreviations

Full Name

Goal

WBC

White blood cell count

The levels of white blood cells in your blood.

RBC

Red blood cell count

The levels of red blood cells in your blood.

HBC

Hemoglobin

The levels of the molecule hemoglobin in your blood.

HCT

Hematocrit

A calculated percentage of red blood cells in circulation, similar to a RBC, but measured in %.

MCV

Mean corpuscular volume

Measures the average size of your red blood cells.

MCH

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin

Measures the average weight of the molecule hemoglobin.

MCHC

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration

Measures the average percentage of hemoglobin present within each red blood cell.

PLT

Platelets

The levels of platelets in your blood. 

Know the Measurement Abbreviations in Blood Tests

Knowing what common blood test abbreviations mean will be useless if you don’t understand what the measurements mean. Below is a table detailing some of the common measurements.

Blood Test Measurement Abbreviation

Description

cmm

Cells per cubic millimeter

fL (femtoliter)

Fraction of one-millionth of a liter

g/dL

Grams per deciliter

IU/L

International unites per liter

mEq/L

Milliequivalent per liter

Mg/dL

Milligrams per deciliter

mL

Milliliter

Mmol/L

Millimoles per liter

Ng/mL

Nanograms per millimeter

pg (pictograms)

One-trillionth of a gram

 
 
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