Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic Testing

An Overview of Diagnostic Testing Products

Accurate diagnosis can make a big difference in a patient's life. It can mean getting the right treatment or getting the wrong treatment with the possibility of all manner of bad outcomes including the possibility of loss of life. There are various tests that are common in a medical setup and which doctors depend on as adjuncts to making accurate diagnose. A few of this are discussed.

Urine adulteration

This is a common practice where for some reasons an individual substitutes or make additions to a urine sample to influence test results. This can be done through diluting the urine or by adding commercially sold substances referred to as "masking or cleansing agents". A good urine adulteration testing agent should be able to pick as many of these adulterating substances as possible. It should be able to identify:

  • Specific gravity of the urine
  • pH
  • Nitrites
  • Creatinine
  • Nitrites
  • Pyridinium chlorochromate (PCC) and other oxidants and bleach products
  • Reagents impregnated strips are used in this type of testing.
Urine Adulterations

Glucose diagnostic tests

The levels of blood sugar in the body are important in maintaining good health. Too low levels can mean tissue starvation due to lack of enough energy in the cells. High blood sugar levels can lead to many problems associated with a disease like diabetes. Accurate glucose testing can mean saving a life and a wrong result can mean a lifetime of morbidity.

Glucose / Lipid Diagnostic Tests

H. Pylori diagnostic test

Helicobacter pylori is a type of bacteria that is associated with the incidence of the development of peptic ulcers. The tests are done to confirm the presence of the bacteria or as way of assessing the effectiveness of treatment. The main testing methods are:

  • 1. Breath test
  • 2. Stool tests for H. pylori antigens
  • 3. H. pylori antibody test. This can be positive indicating previous infection with the bacteria. It doesn't necessarily indicated an active infection
  • 4. Endoscopic H. pylori test where a tissue is removed from the gut lining for analysis
Helicobacter Pylori Tests

Point of care urinalysis tests

Time and patient compliance are important especially where big numbers of people have to be tested within a given period of time. People in a screening center need results to be out as fast as possible.

Point of care (POC) urine tests meet these requirements by offering accurate results in minutes and indicating a wide variety of urine parameters. The test can give up to ten urine findings in minutes. This can include specific gravity, pH, and presence of blood, leucocytes, urine sugar, bilirubin, Ketones, proteins, nitrites and urobilinogen.

Point of Care Urinalysis Tests

Strep antigen tests (Strep A)

A simple common sore throat can lead to serious health conditions later if the causative agent of the infection is not identified and treated immediately and effectively. It is always good to rule out streptococcal infections. This can be done by taking a throat swab and taking it for culture and maybe sensitivity tests. This can take time. For this reason many doctors prefer doing a rapid streptococcus A test that gives quick results. This enables the doctor to start early treatment while culture and sensitivity results are yet to come out. Treatment can always be adjusted once the culture and sensitivity results are out.

Strep Antigen Tests (Strep A)

Urinary tract infection tests

Accurate diagnosis of UTI can help to prevent associated complications that can lead to serious conditions such as infertility and even surgical intervention. Testing for UTI can be a bedside procedure or a urine sample may need to be taken to the laboratory for analysis.

A good UTI testing kit should contain reagents that help to determine both positive and negative findings.

Urinary Tract Infection Tests

Mononucleosis tests

Mononucleosis is a common communicable viral disease that when suspected doctors want to confirm or rule out. Although the infection is in most cases self-limiting, it has the potential to lead to serious complications involving the liver and the spleen.

An antibody test will help to confirm the presence of mononucleosis. Another test called monospot tests is done to specifically check the Epstein-Barr virus antibodies in the blood.

Mononucleosis Tests

Other common tests that a doctor can request depending on the patient's presenting symptoms, examination findings and the history include:

  • Tobacco tests to identify presence of nicotine
  • Pregnancy test
  • Hemoglobin (Hb) tests which asses the amount in the blood. Further tests can identify the type of hemoglobin
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to assess thyroid functions.
  • Alcohol tests which confirms or rules out presence of alcohol in the blood and sometimes the concentration.
  • Stool occult (hidden) blood

Quick and accurate results help in making quick medical decisions that can have far reaching implications. Rapid results diagnostic testing can also prove important in the criminal justice system.

See all Diagnostic Testing Products