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The basic and comprehensive metabolic profiles are routine tests which provide an overall picture of your body's chemical balance and metabolism.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is found in many tissues, primarily the liver, biliary tract, and bone. It is largely produced by the liver and bone, but can also be produced by the intestines and kidneys. This test is helpful in screening for hypothyroidism, malnutrition, pernicious anemia, scurvy, celiac disease, excess vitamin B ingestion, cirrhosis, Paget disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and bone disease.

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), formerly SGPT, is found primarily in the liver, but also in the kidneys, heart, and skeletal muscles. This test helps screen for injury or diseases affecting the liver, trauma to striated muscle, myositis, pancreatitis, and infectious mononucleosis.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST), formerly SGOT, is used to screen for diseases of the liver and skeletal muscle, mononucleosis, trauma, acute pancreatitis, diabetic ketoacidosis, and acute hemolytic anemia.

Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) measures the amount of urea nitrogen which is an end-product of protein metabolism. It is directly related to the metabolic function of the liver and excretory function of the kidneys.

Creatinine (with GFR/glomular filtration rate estimated) measures the amount of creatinine secreted by the kidneys. Creatinine is a catabolic product of creatine phosphate which is used in skeletal muscle contraction. The daily production of creatinine is related to muscle mass. It is used to screen for kidney function, inflammation, diabetic damage, and decreased muscle mass in diseases such as muscular dystrophy and myasthenia gravis.

BUN/creatinine ratio (calculated) BUN is interpreted in conjunction with creatinine. The ratio is a good indicator of liver and kidney function.

Calcium evaluates parathyroid function and calcium metabolism. The test can be used to screen for parathyroid disease, bone tumors, lymphoma, Addison’s disease, hyperthyroidism, renal failure, Vitamin D deficiency or intoxication, malabsorption, and pancreatitis.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) assists in the evaluation of the pH status in evaluation of electrolytes and is used to screen for metabolic alkalosis, malnutrition, renal failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, metabolic acidosis, and shock.

Chloride is an electrolyte. It helps maintain electrical neutrality, mostly as a salt with sodium. Signs of low chloride include hyperexcitability of the nervous system and muscles, shallow breathing, hypotension, and tetany. High chloride can include lethargy, weakness, and deep breathing. It also screens for anemia, hyperparathyroidism, Cushing syndrome, kidney dysfunction, Addison’s disease, and congestive heart failure.

Potassium (K) is the major positively charged ion within the cellular space. Minor changes in concentration can have major consequences. Too much potassium can cause irritability, nausea, vomiting, intestinal colic, and diarrhea. Low potassium can cause a decrease in contractility of smooth, skeletal, and heart muscles which can result in weakness, paralysis, hyporeflexia, and cardiac arrhythmia. The test can also be used to screen for Addison’s disease, renal failure, infection, dehydration, and Cushing syndrome.

Sodium is the major positively charged ion in the extracellar (outside the cell) space. The sodium content of the blood is a result of the balance between ingestion and renal excretion. This test is used to screen for excessive dietary intake of sodium, Cushing syndrome, diabetes, Addison disease, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, peripheral edema and ileus or mechanical obstruction of the bowel.

Anion gap is the difference in the measured positively charged ions) and the measured anions (negatively charged ions) in serum, plasma, or urine. The gap is calculated when attempting to identify the cause of metabolic acidosis, a lower than normal pH in the blood. If the gap is greater than normal, then high anion gap metabolic acidosis is diagnosed.

Direct bilirubin is made by the liver from indirect bilirubin. Total bilirubin and direct bilirubin levels are measured directly in the blood, whereas indirect bilirubin levels are derived from the total and direct bilirubin measurements. Jaundice is caused by abnormally high levels of bilirubin. This test is used to screen for gallstones, liver metastases, hepatitis, sepsis, hemolytic anemia, pernicious anemia, cirrhosis, and sickle cell anemia.

The lipid panel is used in routine diagnosis and monitoring of cardiac health and other diseases.

Cholesterol is required for the production of steroids, sex hormones, bile acids, and cellular membranes.  It is transported by lipoproteins. It is the main component of LDL and a minimal component of HDL.

It can be used to screen for hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, malnutrition, malabsorption, pernicious anemia, sepsis, stress, liver disease, acute myocardial infarction, hypertension, biliary cirrhosis, and nephrosis.

Total Serum Cholesterol analysis is useful in the diagnosis of hyperlipoproteinemia, atherosclerosis, and hepatic and thyroid diseases.

HDL (high-density lipoproteins), 25 % of cholesterol is bound to HDL.

It can be used to screen for excessive exercise, metabolic syndrome, and liver disease.

LDL (low-density lipoproteins) 75% of cholesterol is bound to LDL.

Lipoproteins can be used to screen for nephrotic syndrome, glycogen storage disease, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, liver disease and tumor, multiple myeloma, Cushing syndrome and excessive alcohol consumption.

LDL/Cholesterol (calculated) is a ratio of LDL to total cholesterol.

HDL/Cholesterol (calculated) is a ratio of HDL to total cholesterol.

Non-HDL Cholesterol (calculated)  gives a better assessment of the risk for heart disease than measuring only LDL. This is especially true if you have high triglycerides.  The non-HDL cholesterol level is found by subtracting HDL cholesterol from total cholesterol.

Total LDL and HDL cholesterol, in conjunction with a triglyceride determination, provides valuable information for the risk of coronary artery disease.

Triglycerides are a form of fat in the bloodstream. They are transported by LDL. They act as a storage source for energy. When triglyceride levels are excessive, they are deposited into fatty tissue.

It is used in screening for glycogen storage disease, thyroid disease, high-carbohydrate diet, poorly controlled diabetes, hypertension, alcoholic cirrhosis, and myocardial infarction.

For more information on these tests, visit Quest Labs.


C-Reactive Protein is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body.

Creatine kinase (CK) or creatine phosphokinase (CPK) is useful in screening for inflammation of muscles (myositis), serious muscle damage, and rhabdomyolysis.

Aldolase is a protein (enzyme) that helps break down certain sugars to produce energy. It is found in high amounts in muscle tissue.

For more information on these tests, visit Quest Labs.


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