What is a full analytical profile?
A clinical analysis is a complementary study of several biological samples with the aim of confirming or ruling out a diagnosis.
Blood is the most commonly used fluid for analysis, along with urine samples. Other fluids, although less common, may include saliva, joint fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, amniotic fluid or exudates.
These tests provide objective results that can be interpreted by medical personnel. They will use established reference values for each population and compare them in order to make a judgement on the results. The results can be quantitative (value) or qualitative (positive or negative results). With regard to quantitative results, 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.
An analytical profile comprises a series of established tests that are analysed together to study an organ, tissue or pathology. There are many analytical profiles, so specific analyses are performed for each of them, as specific data are needed for each type. The most common are the basic profile, lipid profile, renal profile, thyroid profile and pregnancy profile.
Preventive medicine recommends a complete blood test every year to prevent health problems or to detect them early if they appear. 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.
For this type of analysis, the patient is required to be strictly fasting for 8-12 hours. A sample of urine and venous blood is needed to proceed with the analysis.
What tests are included in the full analytical profile?
The following tests are included in the full analytical profile:
- Serum albumin. In hospitalised persons, this test evaluates their nutritional status. It can also be used to detect kidney or liver disease.
- Basic urine profile. This can detect kidney disease or urinary tract infections.
- Urine sediment. Some urinary tract problems are analysed. Protein, red and white blood cells, glucose, etc. are also analysed with this sample.
- Serum total cholesterol. It can be used to determine whether the patient is likely to develop heart disease and to assess the effectiveness of lipid-lowering treatment.
- Serum HDL cholesterol. Known as ‘good cholesterol’, it helps to remove other forms of cholesterol from the bloodstream. Its levels need to be monitored.
- Serum LDL [direct] cholesterol. An elevated level increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis.
- Serum glucose. Early glucose testing can detect and diagnose pre-diabetes, diabetes, hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia.
- Serum urea. This is intended to assess kidney function. It is recommended that you do not eat a high-protein diet in the 24 hours prior to testing in order to get the most accurate results possible.
- Serum uric acid. It is necessary to detect high concentrations of uric acid in the blood, as this could mean the onset of gout.
- Serum triglycerides. Triglyceride analysis allows 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]. Analysis of this enzyme helps 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.
- Serum calcium. Calcium analysis can be used to diagnose a wide range of diseases, including bone and thyroid diseases.
- Serum sodium. A sodium test can find out if your sodium concentration is within the normal range.
- Serum potassium. Determines whether the concentration of this mineral is within the reference range. It also helps to evaluate a possible electrolyte imbalance.
- Serum chlorides. This test detects possible problems with electrolytes or acid-base balance (pH).
- Serum phosphorus. It evaluates the concentration of the mineral in the blood and helps in the diagnosis of disorders that increase or decrease its concentration.
- Haematological count. This count measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, the total amount of haemoglobin in the blood, and the portion of the blood 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.