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.

Let us know what you think of the site and how we might improve it. If you found Lab Tests Online-UK useful, please spread the word!

Topics in the News

Earlier detection of ovarian cancer by monitoring serum cancer antigen 125 (CA-125)

19 May 2015

Earlier detection of ovarian cancer is proposed following a trial of annual screening with a serum cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) blood test in more than 46,000 women aged 50 or older at average risk of ovarian cancer. The study was published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on 11 May 2015. Investigators used a ‘risk of ovarian cancer algorithm’ (ROCA) based on age and changes in CA-125 concentration with time. The ROCA procedure correctly assessed as not at risk the 99.8% of women who did not have cancer. It also correctly identified 86% of those women who did have cancer. In contrast, the conventional single CA-125 cut-off value of greater than 35 U/mL identified less than half (41%) of those with cancer.

Mother’s blood test for Down’s syndrome DNA is more accurate than current screening methods

23 April 2015

The presence of foetal DNA from an extra chromosome 21 in the mother’s blood during early pregnancy predicts Down’s syndrome more accurately than standard non-invasive screening with maternal ultrasound examination and biochemical tests. A multicentre comparison of the two methods in women undergoing routine prenatal screening was published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on 1 April 2015. In 15,841 women who completed both screenings, DNA testing predicted all 38 babies with Down’s syndrome with only nine false positives (0.06%). Standard screening predicted 30 of the 38 but with 854 false positives (5.4%). A UK research team is evaluating the requirements for implementing the DNA test as part of the NHS Down’s syndrome screening programme.

Not all testing is good, and some can be harmful

11 March 2015

Lab Tests Online-UK has published a series of articles on unvalidated and misleading laboratory tests. It is important that members of the public are made aware that these sorts of tests are increasingly available to purchase directly without consulting any qualified health professionals. Please click on the link above for the full article.

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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.