Complete Blood Analysis
The blood analysis used as part of the cardiac examination includes basic blood tests and biochemical analysis. Certain conditions may require additional blood tests such as thyroid hormones, iron…
What can the level of cholesterol and other substances in your blood tell you about heart health?
Your blood offers many clues about the health of your heart. For example, high levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood may be a sign that you have an increased risk of heart attack. Other substances in your blood can also help your doctor determine if you have heart failure or are at risk of developing fatty deposits (plaque) in your arteries (atherosclerosis).
It is important to remember that just one blood test does not determine the risk of heart disease. The most important risk factors for heart disease are smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Here is an overview of the basic laboratory blood tests that we use at the Pulse Cardiology Center, for the diagnosis and monitoring of cardiovascular diseases.
Complete blood count
- CBC – Complete blood count with leukocytes
A blood test with a leukocyte formula is a laboratory test that involves determining the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), platelets, hemoglobin (a pigment found in red blood cells that carries oxygen) and hematocrit (the ratio of blood cells to the liquid part of the blood-blood plasma). A complete blood count is recommended as part of a routine laboratory test, or to detect the cause of various infections and anemia.
The cardiologist will also ask you to check the amount of C-reactive protein (CRP) that is present in your blood. A high level of CRP is a direct indicator of inflammation or infection in your body. If your tests show a high level of CRP, this is an indication for high-risk cardiovascular diseases.
Erythrocyte sedimentation represents the rate of deposition of red blood cells (erythrocytes). More precisely, sedimentation represents the amount of erythrocytes that accumulates in the test tube in an hour. Sediment height is measured in millimeters (mm) and therefore sedimentation is expressed in mm / h. In general, sedimentation is measured in order to: establish the presence of an inflammation or disease in the body, monitor the progress of the disease, check the success of treatment. When there is inflammation in the body, certain proteins of high molecular weight (mainly fibrinogen and globulin) cause the red blood cells (erythrocytes) to stick together and fall to the bottom of the tube faster than usual. These proteins are produced by the liver and the immune system in the case of various abnormal conditions, such as infections, autoimmune diseases or tumors.
Glycaemia means the level of glucose in the blood. It is a simple type of sugar that is found in a certain type of food, primarily fruit, as well as one of the most important sources of energy. This test measures the level of glycemia and determines whether there is hypoglycemia (low sugar level) or hyperglycemia (high blood glucose level) in the body. The level of glycemia is important when diagnosing diabetes. In this way, tests are done for diabetes, another leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Urea is the main metabolic product of nitrogenous substances in the body and is excreted in the urine. It is elevated in persons with reduced renal function (glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, nephrosclerosis) and in increased protein breakdown in the body (necrosis) and in injuries.
Decreased values are with long-term starvation and severe liver damage.
Creatinine is used to assess renal function. Creatine phosphate is created in the muscles and serves to create energy for muscle work. Due to its instability, it passes into creatinine and is excreted in the urine. Depending on the muscle mass, gender, age, the amount of creatinine produced can also vary. The level of creatinine in the blood represents a balance between its production in the muscles and the rate of excretion through urine, because creatinine is filtered in the kidneys and excreted in the urine. Thus, if the filtration of creatinine through the kidneys decreases and its excretion in the urine decreases, and the production remains the same, its concentration in the blood increases.
Conditions in which creatinine is elevated are: kidney infections, kidney stones, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, coronary heart disease, any damage to kidney function or obstruction.
Decreased values are rare and can occur with a decrease in muscle mass and sometimes during pregnancy.
- Total cholesterol
During the heart examination, the cardiologist will also ask for the amount of cholesterol in your blood. This will be done through a lipid screening, which involves measuring three lipids in the blood.
This type of screening will analyze yours: low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL) and triglycerides.
When you have high levels of LDL (bad cholesterol), low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) or high levels of triglycerides, you have a higher risk of heart disease.
The liver is a very important organ of the human body and plays a key role in metabolism, digestion, detoxification and elimination of harmful toxins from the body. Laboratory analyzes and tests are used to diagnose liver damage and establish adequate therapy. Measuring the activity of liver enzymes and their disbalance can indicate various liver diseases. Liver diseases are manifested by elevated ALT activities, ie they are the most common cause of elevated AST values. ALT activity is usually higher than AST (it is exceptional in alcoholic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis).
- AST ( Aspartate Transaminase ) is an enzyme present in skeletal muscle, kidney, heart and liver. This enzyme is also present in the pancreas, lungs, erythrocytes and spleen.
- ALT ( Alanine Transaminase ) is an enzyme that is present in small amounts in the heart and muscles, and is most abundant in the liver and kidneys.
These two enzymes are normally present in the blood in relatively low concentrations. When liver cells (hepatocytes) are injured – enzymes are released into the blood, which leads to an increase in their activity. Most often, AST and ALT values are determined at the same time when hepatocyte damage is detected. ALT activity remains elevated longer than AST activity.
- GGT (Gamma glutamyl transpeptidase) – elevated levels of this enzyme indicate significant liver damage and are most common in alcoholics. It can be a sign of liver failure, the so-called. GILBERT’S SYNDROME – and physiological Hyperbilirubinemia
Elevated activities of these enzymes may indicate liver damage: viral hepatitis, jaundice, alcoholic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, toxic hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver, liver cancer. Decreased values of these enzymes have no diagnostic significance.
Decreased potassium is found in excessive diuresis, vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatic fistula, adrenal hyperfunction, malnutrition, diabetic acidosis. Increased concentrations are found in potassium therapy, chronic renal failure and adrenal hyperfunction.
Sodium with anions affects the distribution of fluid in the body. It is elevated in dehydration, trauma or diseases of the central nervous system. It is reduced in case of kidney and adrenal gland insufficiency, inadequate intake and excessive loss.