Basic analytical profile

Perfil analítico básico

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What is the basic analytical profile? 

An analytical profile refers to a set of established tests that are analysed as a group to study an organ, a tissue or even a pathology. There are profiles for specific population groups, such as pregnant women. Therefore, a multitude of analytical profiles have been created, each adapted to the needs of a particular profile. The most common are the basic profile, the renal profile, the lipid profile, the thyroid profile and the pregnancy profile.

A clinical analysis is an additional examination performed to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. It is performed in a laboratory and the aim is to study different biological samples from the patient. It is part of the health care process. 

With such an analysis we can obtain an objective result. From the reference values established for each population, the medical staff can interpret all the data obtained and give a diagnosis. Test results can be quantitative (numbers) or qualitative (positive or negative results).

Blood is the most commonly used body fluid for testing. It is also quite common to use urine samples. Other samples, although less demanded, can be joint fluid, amniotic fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva or exudates.  

Whether qualitative or quantitative, each test has established normality values. With regard to quantitative tests, it should be noted that when the concentration obtained is higher than the established value, it is considered that there is an excess. If, on the other hand, it is below normal, there is a defect.

What analyses are included in the basic analytical profile? 

A basic analytical profile analysis includes all clinical determinations that are essential to be able to generate a more or less comprehensive picture of how the patient’s body functions. There are a large number of substances in the body that can be analysed, but the basic analysis selects only the most important ones. These are the ones that can affect general health or the most relevant organs.

One of the functions of this type of analysis is to serve as a control in people who do not develop symptoms or previous pathologies. Without the analysis, it would not be possible to find out in advance if they have any disease. It is highly recommended to have such an analysis before any medical check-up and at least once a year. 

The basic analysis requires certain conditions: the patient must come to the medical centre strictly fasting for 8 to 12 hours. He or she must also bring a urine sample with him or her, having been explained how to obtain it, which he or she will give to the health staff on arrival. They will be in charge of collecting the second sample required for the analysis: a venous blood sample. 

With these 2 samples, the analysis can be carried out, which will include the following tests:

  • Total serum cholesterol. This can be used to determine whether the patient is likely to develop heart disease and to assess the effectiveness of lipid-lowering treatment.
  • Serum glucose. A timely analysis of glucose can detect and diagnose pre-diabetes, diabetes, hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia. 
  • Serum creatinine. By comparing the amount of creatinine in the blood to a standard reference amount, we can tell if the kidneys are functioning properly.
  • Serum urea. Its purpose is to assess kidney function. It is recommended that you do not eat a high-protein diet in the 24 hours prior to the test so that the results are as accurate as possible.
  • Serum triglycerides. Testing triglycerides allows you to calculate the level of LDL cholesterol in the patient and to assess the risk of possible heart disease. 
  • Aspartate aminotransferase [GOT]. This is used to assess for liver damage and helps to identify possible liver damage.
  • Alanine aminotransferase [GPT]. This enzyme is also used to detect liver damage.
  • Serum gamma glutamyl transpeptidase [GGT].  Measures the amount of GGT in the blood. With this test, we can tell whether liver damage is due to liver disease or bone disease.
  • Haematological count. This count measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, the total amount of haemoglobin in the blood and the part of the blood that is made up of red blood cells.
  • Leukocyte formula. With it we can find out the cause of an alteration in the white blood cell count.

 

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