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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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A-Z of blood tests by investigation

This list is not exclusive and includes only the investigations commonly performed in paediatric rheumatology. We will be happy to discuss these and others as requested.

View A-Z by laboratory sample

Investigation/Result Type of Test Value of Test
ALT/AST Liver function tests The blood levels of these proteins help monitor reaction of the liver to a medication or to a viral infection or inflammation of the liver caused by lupus or another inflammatory disease
ANA Anti nuclear antibody A protein produced in many forms of inflammation. In arthritis, a high level indicates an increased risk of developing eye inflammation. Patients with SLE will have high levels, but this is not a diagnostic test.
ANCA Anti neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody Used to check for active vasculitis
Auto antibodies

Liver function tests

Proteins produced in various autoimmune diseases and may help classify the disease. May also indicate a complication of the disease
Bilirubin Liver function tests Goes up if red blood cell breakdown and marked liver damage
C3 and C4 Compliment Proteins of the immune system which may go down in active lupus
Coeliac screen Endomyesial or transglutamase antibodies To identify the presence of coeliac disease (allergy to gluten)
CPK (creatine phosphokinase) Muscle test a protein release by inflamed muscles and may be used to monitor dermatomyositis
Creatinine Kidney function High in renal disease and decompensation
CRP C-reactive protein Another non-specific measurement of inflammation
dsDNA Double stranded DNA Another protein produced in SLE and if present in high levels indicates active disease
ESR Erythrocyte sedimentation rate A crude assessment of inflammation that does not indicate the cause of the inflammation. Eg, it goes up during a viral infection and arthritis
FBC Full blood count Looks at the different type of cells in the blood and how well the bone marrow is producing them
Ferritin iron store and inflammatory protein A protein low in iron deficiency anaemia. High during severe inflammation such systemic onset JIA.
Hb present in full blood count Haemoglobin assesses anaemia. Hb may be low in active inflammation, when there is iron deficiency, or as a side effect of medication (see monitoring).
HLA B27 Genetic marker A genetic test present in some forms of arthritis (see ERA), inflammatory bowel disease and other inflammations. It is not a diagnostic test but assesses potential for having a diagnosis.
LDH muscle and liver function test may be used to monitor dermatomyositis
LFTs Liver function tests
Lymphocyte present in full blood count (Lymph) – another white cell of immune system. It may be low during active inflammation of SLE
Neutrophil present in full blood count (Neut) – a white cell of the immune system. It increases during infection and inflammation. A low result may be a side effect of medication
Platelet present in full blood count This cell helps the blood to clot. It is high in active inflammation. Low platelet count may be due to a drug side effect or active lupus
PT, APPT Coagulation Screen Measures how well the blood clots. This may be delayed in active SLE.
RF Rheumatoid factor A protein produced in an aggressive form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Also present in some people without arthritis.
TFT Thyroid function Measures activity of the thyroid gland.
U&Es Kidney function Salts in the blood including sodium and potassium

View A-Z by laboratory sample