The Most Common Tests in a Medical Laboratory

Laboratory tests are essential for maintaining general health and diagnosing specific health issues. Doctors may order these studies and tests based on patients’ symptoms and risk factors. When doctors suspect medical problems, they call for tests that can potentially identify what they expect to see. Here are the most common tests in a medical laboratory that you should know.

CBC Blood Test

The CBC blood test is one of the most common tests in a medical laboratory. This test calculates the blood cell count of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. When the results come back abnormally, there are many potential issues. These medical problems include anemia and blood clots.  

Lipid Panel

Lipid panels test cholesterol present in a patient’s blood. These tests typically measure high-density lipoprotein (also known as “good” cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein (also known as “bad” cholesterol), total cholesterol, triglycerides, and more. Cumulatively, these tests form the lipid panel. Medical professionals often use them to evaluate a patient’s risk of a heart attack.  


Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) regulates both T4 (thyroxine) and triiodothyronine (T3) levels in the body. When the TSH levels are abnormally elevated or low, that indicates either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Individuals with poor TSH levels may experience a rapid heart rate, overall nervousness, or persistent tremors. A THS lab will determine TSH levels in a patient.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel 

A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a standard test that helps a doctor get a general picture of the health and wellness of a patient. The panel involves 14 different tests that look at kidney and liver functions, fluid and electrolyte balances, parathyroid function, and an individual’s diabetic status.

Iron Tests

Iron testing is crucial when a doctor suspects that a patient has anemia. Iron levels are vital for red blood cell production, and when it’s low, anemia is likely. Testing total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) quantifies the iron level present in the blood while checking how much transferrin can transport. Transferrin is the protein responsible for moving iron throughout the body.  

Estradiol and Testosterone Tests

Estradiol testing measures levels of estradiol (E2), the primary female sex hormone. This hormone regulates menstrual cycles and is responsible for developing female secondary sexual characteristics. Doctors call for E2 tests annually, as well as during pregnancy. 

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and helps develop male secondary sex characteristics. When testosterone levels are low, an individual can experience a reduced sex drive and overall energy. Other symptoms include increased depression, increased body fat, and issues with erectile dysfunction.

Individuals would suffer from detrimental issues without appropriate medical intervention without receiving the proper tests. Due to our modern healthcare system, our medical professionals can accurately identify diseases, viruses, and bodily imbalances. The information gathered from these genetic and molecular tests saves millions of lives every year. Labs just need to ensure that they iron out billing for genetic and molecular tests to have smooth interactions with the insurance companies that can cover them.

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