If you have ever had blood work done you may have noticed the blood test abbreviations that are found on many of the lab work forms. These abbreviations are used to identify specific tests that are to be completed on your drawn blood samples.
You have every right to know exactly what tests are being performed on you, and while it will take further research to understand what every test is and how it works, at least you'll have a starting point by deciphering all these abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms.
Common Blood Test Abbreviations
This list of blood test abbreviations isn't exhaustive, but it does cover the letters seen most commonly on laboratory or medical requisition forms. If you're ever confused or concerned, it's best to consult with your family physician or other suitable medical professional. The technicians at the medical lab can help too.
- ALT - Alanine Transaminase (part of a liver function test)
- ANA - Antinuclear Antibody (also part of a liver function test)
- AST - Alanine Aminotransferase (another part of a liver function test)
- BAC - Blood Alcohol Concentration/Content (tests for intoxication level)
- BMP - Basic Metabolic Panel (a standard group of blood tests)
- BNP - Beta Natriuretic Peptide (testing for congestive heart failure)
- BUN - Blood Urea Nitrogen (part of kidney function test)
- CA - Calcium (testing blood calcium levels)
- CBC - Complete Blood Count (test red and white blood cells for overall health and to detect abnormalities)
- CK - Creatine Phosphokinase (test for muscle damage)
- CR - Creatinine (part of kidney function test)
- ESR - Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (tests for inflammation)
- HCT - Hematocrit (part of the standard CBC test; proportion of red blood cells)
- HDL/LDL - High Density Lipoproteins/High Density Lipoproteins (testing for "good" and "bad" cholesterol)
- INR - International Normalized Ratio (a blood clotting test)
- K - Potassium (a test for potassium levels)
- Mg - Magnesium (testing for magnesium levels)
- Na - Sodium (testing for sodium levels in the blood)
- PSA - Prostate Specific Antigen (prostate cancer test)
- PT - Prothrombin Time (test blood clotting along with INR or international normalized ratio)
- RBC - Red Blood Cell Count (part of the CBC test)
- TPO - Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (test for antibodies to thyroid)
- Trig - Triglygerides (a part of cholesterol test)
- TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (one of the main tests of a thyroid test)
- WBC - White Blood Cell Count (part of the CBC test)
Blood tests are one of a doctor's basic tools to check your health or test for certain conditions, illnesses, and abnormalities. Many specialized tests are available too. For clarification on blood test abbreviations other than those listed above just ask your medical professional.