Science, Tech, Math › Science List of Common Blood Chemistry Tests Share Flipboard Email Print Science Photo Library - SCIEPRO/Getty Images Science Chemistry Medical Chemistry Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated November 04, 2019 Your blood contains many chemicals, not just red and white blood cells. Blood chemistry tests are among the most common diagnostic tests performed to detect and diagnose illnesses. Blood chemistry indicates hydration levels, whether or not an infection is present, and how well organ systems are functioning. Here is a list and explanation of several blood tests. Table of Common Blood Chemistry Tests Test Name Function Value Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) Screens for renal disease, assesses glomerular function. Normal Range: 7-25 mg/dL Calcium (Ca) Assess parathyroid functioning and calcium metabolism. Normal Range: 8.5-10.8 mg/dL Chloride (Cl) Assess water and electrolyte balance. Normal Range: 96-109 mmol/L Cholesterol (Chol) High total Chol may indicate atherosclerosis related to coronary heart disease; indicates thyroid and liver function. Total Normal Range: Less than 200 mg/dLLow-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Normal Range: Less than 100 mg/dLHigh-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Normal Range: 60 mg/dL or greater Creatinine (Creat) High creatinine levels almost always are due to renal damage. Normal Range: 0.6-1.5 mg/dL Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) Fasting blood sugar is measured to assess glucose metabolism. Normal Range: 70-110 mg/dL 2-hour post-prandial blood sugar (2-hr PPBS) Used to assess glucose metabolism. Normal Range: Less than 140 mg/dL Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) Use to assess glucose metabolism. 30 min: 150-160 mg/dL1 hour: 160-170 mg/dL2 hour: 120 mg/dL3 hour: 70-110 mg/dL Potassium (K) Assess water and electrolyte balance. High potassium levels can cause cardiac arrhythmia, while low levels may cause cramps and muscle weakness. Normal Range: 3.5-5.3 mmol/L Sodium (Na) Used to assess salt balance and hydration levels. 135-147 mmol/L Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) Measured to diagnose thyroid function disorders. Normal Range: 0.3-4.0 ug/L Urea Urea is a product of amino acid metabolism. It is measured to check kidney function. Normal Range: 3.5-8.8 mmol/l Other Routine Blood Tests Beside chemical tests, routine blood tests look at the cellular composition of blood. Common tests include: Complete Blood Count (CBC) The CBC is one of the most common blood tests. It is an assay of the ratio of red to white blood cells, types of white cells, and the number of platelets in blood. It can be used as an initial screening test for an infection and a general measure of health. Hematocrit A hematocrit is a measure of how much of your blood volume consists of red blood cells. A high hematocrit level can indicate dehydration, while a. low hematocrit level may indicate anemia. An abnormal hematocrit may signal a blood disorder or bone marrow disease. Red Blood Cells Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Abnormal red blood cell levels might be a sign of anemia, dehydration (too little fluid in the body), bleeding, or another disorder. White Blood Cells White blood cells fight infection, so a high white cell count may indicate infection, blood disease, or cancer. Platelets Platelets are fragments that stick together to help blood clot when a blood vessel is broken. Abnormal platelet levels may signal a bleeding disorder (insufficient clotting) or a thrombotic disorder (too much clotting). Hemoglobin Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells. Abnormal hemoglobin levels might be a sign of anemia, sickle cell, or other blood disorders. Diabetes can raise levels of hemoglobin in blood. Mean Corpuscular Volume Mean corpuscular (MCV) is a measure of the average size of your red blood cells. Abnormal MCV may indicate anemia or thalassemia. Blood Test Alternatives There are disadvantages to blood tests, not the least of which is patient discomfort! Scientists are developing less invasive tests for key measurements. These tests include: Saliva Tests Since saliva contains about 20 percent of the proteins found in blood, it offers potential as a useful diagnostic fluid. Saliva samples are typically analyzed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), mass spectrometry, and other analytical chemistry techniques. SIMBAS SIMBAS stands for Self-powered Integrated Microfluidic Blood Analysis System. It is a tiny lab on a computer chip that can yield blood test results within about 10 minutes. While SIMBAS still requires blood, only a 5 μL droplet is required, which can be obtained from a finger prick (no needle). Microemulsion Like SIMBAS, microemulsion is blood test microchip that only requires a drop of blood in order to make an analysis. While robotic blood analysis machines can cost $10,000, a microchip only runs about $25. In addition to making blood tests easier for doctors, the ease and affordability of the chips make the tests accessible to the general public. References C. A. Burtis and E. R. Ashwood, Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry (1994) 2nd edition. Elsevier. Red Blood Cells (Erythrocytes) Blood Composition and Function Platelets: Cells That Clot Blood 12 Interesting Facts About Blood The 12 Animal Organ Systems Bone Marrow and Blood Cell Development Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: hem- or hemo- or hemato- White Blood Cells—Granulocytes and Agranulocytes Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia Spleen Anatomy and Function 4 Types of Hypersensitivity Reactions What Is a Hypertonic Solution? What Is the Chemical Composition of Blood? 8 Types of White Blood Cells Cardiovascular System Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: "Cyto-" and "-Cyte"