Lab Tests Online-UK

Lab Tests Online-UK is written by practising laboratory doctors and scientists to help you understand the many clinical laboratory tests that are used in diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of disease. The about this site page describes how the site can help you. Search under conditions and diseases and find information on laboratory tests used for particular diagnosis and/or management or alternatively, if you know the test name, just search under tests.

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Topics in the News

Antenatal ‘reflex’ DNA screening for Down’s syndrome

21 November 2017

A new ‘reflex’ method of organising antenatal screening tests is assessed in a recent issue of Genetics in Medicine. It includes identification of baby’s cell-free DNA in mother’s blood for the diagnosis of  Down’s syndrome (and also the less common and potentially fatal Edwards and Patau syndromes) . The authors conclude that no other method of antenatal screening has such a high detection rate for such a low false-positive rate.

Could a new blood test help rule out a heart attack more quickly?

16 October 2017

A new blood test becomes positive earlier than current tests after a heart attack. It has the potential to reduce the pressure on A&E and hospital beds by increasing the early discharge of low-risk patients.

Viral DNA test successfully screened those at high risk of nasopharyngeal cancer

22 September 2017

Cancer of the nasopharynx (that part of the throat between the back of the nose and the back of the mouth) is prevalent in Southeast Asia. It often causes no symptoms until locally advanced. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on 10 August 2017, blood plasma samples from more than 20,000 men of Chinese descent aged 40 to 62 living in Hong Kong were tested for circulating DNA fragments of the Epstein-Barr virus. There were persistently positive results in 309 men who were then offered examination of their nasopharynx with an endoscope and by MRI scanning. Of the 300 men examined 34 (11%) were found to have nasopharyngeal cancer, and it was at an early and potentially curable stage in 16 of them.

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Lab Tests Online-UK was established in 2003 with the aid of a grant from the Health Foundation and was financially supported by the Department of Health. Lab Tests Online-UK is currently funded by the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, the Royal College of Pathologists and the Institute of Biomedical Science.