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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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A-Z of blood tests by laboratory sample

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 investigation

Laboratory Sample Result Value of Test
Anti neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody ANCA Used to check for active vasculitis
Anti nuclear antibody ANA 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.
Auto antibodies (dsDNA, anti-Ro, anti-La, anti-sm, anti-RNP) Proteins produced in various autoimmune diseases and may help classify the disease. May indicate a complication of the disease
Coagulation Screen PT, APPT Measures how well the blood clots. This may be delayed in active SLE.
Coeliac screen Endomyesial or transglutamase antibodies To identify the presence of coeliac disease (gut inflammation caused by gluten found in wheat)
Compliment C3 and C4 Proteins of the immune system which may go down in active lupus
C-reactive protein CRP Another non-specific measurement of inflammation
Double stranded DNA dsDNA Another protein produced in SLE and if present in high levels indicates active disease
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate ESR A crude assessment of inflammation that does not indicate the cause of the inflammation. Eg, it goes up during a viral infection and arthritis
Ferritin A protein low in iron deficiency anaemia. High during severe inflammation such systemic onset JIA.
Full blood count FBC Looks at the different type of cells in the blood and how well the bone marrow is producing them
Hb Haemoglobin assesses anaemia. Hb may be low in active inflammation, when there is iron deficiency, or as a side effect of medication (see monitoring).
Platelet 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
Neutrophil (Neut) – a white cell of the immune system. It increases during infection and inflammation. A low result may be a side effect of medication
Lymphocyte (Lymph) – another white cell of immune system. It may be low during active inflammation of SLE
Genetic marker HLA B27 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.
Kidney function U&Es Salts in the blood including sodium and potassium
Creatinine High in renal disease and decompensation
Liver function tests LFTs
ALT/AST 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
Bilirubin Goes up if red blood cell breakdown and marked liver damage
Muscle inflammation tests CPK and LDH High levels of these proteins may be released by inflamed muscles and used to monitor dermatomyositis
Rheumatoid factor RF A protein produced in an aggressive form of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Also present in some people without arthritis.
Thyroid function TFT Measures activity of the thyroid gland.

View A-Z by investigation