Management of Clinical Biochemistry
Clinical biochemical tests are used to examine fluids in the body (blood, urine, cerebral spinal fluid, and collections in joints, abscesses, and body cavities). Besides establishing a diagnosis, they can also be used for tracking the progress of disease management. Below are some of the more common illnesses that depend on biochemical testing in management and treatment.
Diabetes relies completely on blood testing for its successful management and treatment. While a fasting blood glucose is an effective screen for narrowing down the more suspicious individuals in the general population, once diagnosed, both Type 1 DM and Type 2 DM are followed by interval measurements of the glycated hemoglobin A1c, which gives a months-long appraisal of glycemic control. A normal levels in non-diabetics is <6%, but in established diabetics, a target goal of 7% is ideal in preventing DM complications.
Diabetics are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, lipid abnormalities, and kidney failure, so cardiac enzymes (if there has been chest pain or an abnormal ECG), cholesterol and triglyceride measurements that indicate the need for statin medication, and appraisals of kidney function are important parts of diabetic management.
Doctor-caused immunosuppression, e.g., chemotherapy, can be quantitated to adjust dosages and the timing of intravenous anti-cancer therapy.
RF (rheumatoid factor) and ANA (antinuclear antibody), when positive, can make the difference in whether a person is treated for age-related osteoarthritis or immunological rheumatoid arthritis.
When the thyroid function is low (hypothyroidism) or high (hyperthyroidism), metabolism is severely affected. The brain’s pituitary gland acts accordingly by either lowering thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) or making more. The TSH serves as a screen for thyroid dysfunction and its normal value can indicate successful management with medication used to stabilize thyroid function.
The enzymes and proteins of the liver can be quantitated to guide the on-going therapy for liver disease and to predict the levels of liver failure that may have to be taken into account in long-term management. Bilirubin is an exact reflection of liver disease, and the severity of clinical jaundice is proportionate to elevated bilirubin in the blood and urine.
Electrolyte balance based on hydration can be followed exactly with blood tests, upon which is based medication choices for diuresis or kidney function.
Dyslipidemia and Its Complications, Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease
Lipid testing is used to follow the therapeutic progress of statin drug therapy for dyslipidemia (abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride).