CBC/CBP means complete blood count so that changes in the structure of blood cells can be known. These include red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), platelets (thrombocytes). Quantitative and size changes in blood cells due to infection can be understood, which helps doctors in treating patients.
C reactive protein is a reactant found in the liver. The level of CRP in the blood increases due to infection. In very acute infections, such as diabetes and hypertension, it increases slightly, while in gout and infectious arthritis it increases slightly, but becomes significantly larger when there is a bacterial/viral/fungal infection.
Normally blood does not clot in blood vessels, as it contains naturally occurring anticoagulant chemicals. But as soon as there is disturbance in the blood vessels, it forms a clot to stop the loss of blood. Similarly, if a blood clot forms inside the blood vessels that clotting mechanism has to be activated so that the blood continues to flow through the blood vessels. The waste that is prepared by destroying the clot is removed after a very short time. Illness and infection can lead to excessive clotting in the blood vessels and removal of the clot is done to remove this.
Because of this, the amount of waste produced after breaking the clot in the blood increases which can get stuck in the small blood vessels and due to this the patient can die. D dimer is a clot dissolving product – fibrin. An increase in the level of D dimer in the blood means excessive clot formation in the blood and hence the process of dissolving the clot has to be started, so that the patient’s life can be saved.
Lactate dehydrogenase is an enzyme found in every cell of the body. Its level in the blood increases when there is an infection or some disease in the body. Sometimes, due to excessive exercise or strenuous activity, its amount increases in the body. The type of LDH in a particular organ tells about the damage done to that organ. This helps the doctor to investigate further about this organ so that treatment can be started early.
The body’s immunity secretes interleukins-6 in the body which fights the infection by making chemicals like CRP and fibrin in itself and the liver. An increase in the level of IL6 in the blood means that there is an infection in the body. It is a non-specific marker because its levels increase in the body even when there is arthritis and other similar diseases. Detection of high levels of it in the body means more inflammation in the body and therefore drugs to reduce this inflammation, such as steroids, are given to protect the cell.
Blood tests are done to check how the liver is doing, such as whether it is making chemicals to destroy proteins such as albumen and wastes in the blood such as bilirubin. Low amount of protein in the blood and high amount of enzymes means that the liver does not work properly. If LFT is abnormal it does not always mean liver damage. It can also be due to infection or taking medicines.
The kidney cleans the blood and removes waste from it which comes out from our body in the form of urine. Filtering of albumin, urea and creatinine is done to check whether the kidney is working properly or not. If their quantity is abnormal then it means that the kidney is not working properly. Abnormal RFT does not necessarily mean that there is kidney disease but it can happen due to various reasons including infection and taking medication.
It is a test in which urine is analyzed under a microscope to check its color, its contents and its concentration. This is a useful test and can detect any type of urinary tract infection, kidney disease or diabetes.
Blood Sugar test
Testing the amount of sugar in the blood is mainly done for the treatment of diabetes. In addition to diabetes, stress, infection, and medication, such as taking steroids, can also manipulate blood sugar levels.
Procalcitonin test (PCT)
It is a blood-based bio-marker that is used to determine how a patient’s body responds to bacterial infections. It increases within three to six hours of bacterial infection and peaks after 12-24 hours and then decreases as the infection subsides. Its level remains low in viral infection. PCT helps in catching secondary bacterial infection and knowing about the progression of the disease. It is also helpful in detecting whether there is an increase in WBC count due to steroid use or due to a bacterial infection.
PCT is an important test by which it can be determined whether antibiotics should be given to the patient and thus can control the overuse of antibiotics in the patient as its overuse leads to antibiotic resistance. Several studies have shown that PCT has been able to tell whether the disease is about to become severe or that treatment is not working. If its quantity is 0.25 µg/Liter, then it is an indicator of good results.
Dr. Niket Rai
Department of pharmacology
Maulana Azad Medical College and Lok Nayak Hospital