The Role ofBiomedical Laboratory Testing in Detection and Management of Disease. Biomedical Tests carried out in Laboratory play a massiverole in today’s healthcare and has a huge influence on the detection andmanagement of numerous diseases.
Biomedical tests provide many healthcare professionalswith the ability to diagnose patients, pre-infection before any symptoms areshown as well as aiding them during the infection. Several diagnostictests are used in whole population screening. Screening allows theidentification of people who may be at an increased risk of an infection or conditionsthat may have an effect on their health. In the U.
K. the national healthservice (NHS) offer a series of screening tests to different sections of thepopulation. In whole population screening, biomedical tests play the role ofsieve by filtering out the population that either have a high or low risk ofhaving the condition that is being screened for. Those that have a higher riskare separated and they go through further tests. Biomedical laboratory testinghelp detect diseases at early stages of a person’s life before any noticeablesymptoms occur, which reduced the transmission to other beings.
The economy issaved of vast amounts of money being spent on the healthcare service due totreatment costs as at an earlier stage treatment is more feasible, easy andless expensive. The specificity, sensitivityand predictive value of the tests is why it plays such a significant role,especially in the universal screening of pregnant woman, in the control ofinfections such as hepatitis Bvirus (HBV). Screening tests helphighlight risk factors, this allows doctors to provide advice on changes to a person’slifestyle that will ultimately prevent them from suffering from the diseasethat they may eventually get. Diagnostic tests such as mammography, full-bloodcounts, echocardiography, colonoscopy, prothrombin time, bone density study,magnetic resonance imagining, computerised tomography, electrocardiogram and prostatespecific antigen have aided treatment for multiple diseases and helped identifythe microorganism causing an infectious disease. These tests give social,medical and economic benefits i.
e. make a contribution to a patient’s safety, theyimprove patient care and limit healthcare spending. “From pregnancy tests to diabetes monitors, in vitrodiagnostics are empowering patients’ with information about their health andgiving doctors the tools that they need to choose optimal treatments for thepeople in their care.” PathologyDisciplines Haematologyis a scientific discipline; a study of blood and blood forming organs. Certain infectionscan cause damage to regions such as the bone marrow (where blood cells areproduced). “Haematology deals with many aspectsof diseases which affect the blood, such as anaemia, leukaemia, lymphoma andclotting or bleeding disorders”. A test used to investigate in haematology areFull-Blood Count tests, which is a routine blood test that provides informationon the patient’s blood cells by evaluating platelets, red blood cells and whiteblood cells.
Full-Blood Counts also involve samples providing information on Haemoglobin(a protein in the structure of the red blood cells which enables it to carry tooxygen) concentrations and Haematocrit red blood cell volume. “This can beuseful as a screening test in many different situations, e.g. a raised whiteblood cell (WBC) count may indicate a response to an infection and low Haemoglobin(Hb) may indicate the presence of anaemia.” FBCs are carried out inadults by drawing blood from a vein (venepuncture),usually from the back of the hand or the inside of the elbow. Peripheral bloodsmear can be carried out to evaluate blood, the procedure consists of adding asmall drop of blood is placed on a slide and spread with a thin film.
After awhile the blood will dry, then the slide can be placed under a microscope forfurther investigation. The morphologyand appearance of all the blood elements: the white blood cells, platelets and redblood cells can be assessed by a haematologist. Prothrombintime, partial thromboplastin time, international normalized ratio (INR) arealso common haematology tests that aid the evaluation of bleeding and clotting disorders and to monitoranticoagulation (anticlotting) therapies. INR is used to monitor a person underthe influence of the anticoagulant drug Warfarin. Warfarin may be prescribedfor numerous conditions including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and AtrialFibrillation (AF). Prothrombin time is a test of the coagulation system performedroutinely for patient’s prior surgery.
In this procedure, substrate is added toactivate the clotting system in the plasma. Time taken for the primary proteinof which the blood clot is made (fibrin) is measured. A series of proteins isrequired for the formation of blood clots and any deficiency will anabnormality in the Prothrombin time. PartialThromboplastin time is also another prior surgery evaluation.
Second pathologydiscipline is microbiology; study of infectious diseases such as bacteria, viruses, fungi andparasites. Microbiological testing is used to ensure food is safe from microbiologicalcontamination. Testing in this field is “a crucial requirementacross many industries worldwide where products, processes and human health areat risk of being negatively affected by the presence and breeding ofmicro-organisms such as specific pathogens, bacteria, yeast and moulds.” “MicrobiologyTesting Services.” Microbiology Testing Services, www.intertek.com/microbiology/.
The work encouragesthe culturing of a particular bacterium in an incubator that is identical tothe perfect environment for the microorganism meaning the conditions are all atoptimum, then the results are examined under the microscope. The susceptibilityof the bacteria to antibiotics to help decide on treatment is also examined inthis lab. There are numerous microbiology teststhat allow microbiologist to evaluate microorganisms present in humans. Helicobacter stool antigen is an example of amicrobiological testing, it is screening test used to detect Helicobacterpylori present in the faeces. Thebackground of this organism is that it is a bacterial infection on the duodenumand stomach lining. Acid Fast stain is an examination of the presence ofmycobacteria, monitor therapy against diagnosis of mycobacterial infection. Thewaxy envelope surrounded the structure of the acid-fast bacteria. This envelopeenables it to be resistant to distaining by the acid alcohol.
The stained bacteriaare resistant to decolourisation via acid alcohol due long exposure to heatdestroying the cell wall. Bacterial Antigens is an additional microbiological testingthat identifies the existence of antigens of the Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitides and Haemophilus influenza. The test aids the detection of bacterial antigens in CSFwhich helps fast diagnosis of meningitis. pathogenic organisms causingmeningitis, brain abscess, shunt infections subdural empyema, cerebral orspinal epidural abscess, bacterial endocarditis with embolism can be identifiedand isolated. Gram Staining tests help identify what bacteria is behindspecific infections. Gram Staining is a technique commonly used to distinguishbetween gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
The bacteria’s both vary infunction and structure. Body fluids or samples from biopsies are used to carryout this test. This helps a patient’s prognosis. This test is related to fungussmear and acid-fast staining.
Non-BiomedicalInvestigations X-rays and MRI Scanning’s are both forms of testing thatpatients undergo that do not involve biomedical based investigation. X-Rays (aform of medical imaging) has shown to be a massive influence in treatment anddiagnosis of multiple medical conditions. All types of medical imaging functionusing ionising radiation to produce images of the person’s body. Major advancementshave occurred in medicine due to the introduction of medical imaging such as radiography,CTs and Fluoroscopy. X- rays aid monitoringtherapies, to keep an eye on prescribed treatment, and help diagnosis ofcertain diseases such as osteoporosis. They provide the ability to examineregions of discomfort or pain for a patient. Computerised tomography (CT Scans)is often used to examine heart issues. Magneticresonance imaging (MRI) is a test that does not encourage any pain for the patient.
The use of radio waves and a magnetic field generated a fully detailed image ofthe body’s internal structure and organs. MRI can detect abnormalities in thebrain, spinal cord, lungs, abdomen, chest etc. “An MRI’s abilityto highlight contrasts in soft tissue makes it useful in deciphering problemswith joints, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.” “MagneticResonance Imaging (MRI).” Edited by Steven Dowshen, KidsHealth, The NemoursFoundation, Mar. 2014, www.
kidshealth.org/en/parents/mri.html.Electrocardiogram (ECGs) is a painless and quick test that measures the electricalactivity of the cardiac system via the usage of electrode patches stuck ontothe skin of a patient. ECGs are helpful in the diagnosis of a poor blood flow tothe heart muscles and can aid diagnosis of any heart conditions such as a heartattack. A portable electrocardiogram known as Holter Monitor used to track therhythm of a patient’s heart.
Stress Test involves exercise or medication tocause an increase in a patient’s heart rate whilst carrying out various testsand imagining, observing the hearts correspondence to the activities. It doesthis by measuring the electrical signals through the heart. Holter monitor canhelp diagnose conditions such as arrhythmias. UltrasoundScanning (USS) is another way of testing a patient to keep a monitor on theirhealth. USS also referred to as sonogram is a procedure that is carried outusing high frequency waves.
This, like the other tests mentioned above, is harmlessto the patient and is a very rapid process. An ultrasound scan may be performedto check for any presence of tumours as well as aiding a doctor to performbiopsies (a small removal of human tissue for examination purposes) as itprovides an accurate location of where the tumour is. Ultrasound can detectdigestive problems such as cancers of the liver, abnormal enlargements of thespleen, gallstones and cysts. Sigmoidoscopy screens for intestinal polyps and colorectalcancer. Sigmoidoscopy provided doctors with the ability to view the lower inchesof the rectum and sigmoid colon. There are multiple tests to check the functioningof a patient’s heart and multi-gated acquisition (MUGA) isanother scan that can be carried out to check whether or not the heart ispumping blood properly.
Myocardial Infarction Heart Attacks are a common life-threateningcondition in the U.K. Statistics show that in the U.K. alone” one in seven men and one ineleven women die from coronary heart disease.
CHD is responsible for nearly 70,000 deaths in the UK each year, an average of 190 people each day, or onedeath around every eight minutes. Most deaths from coronary heart disease arecaused by a heart attack.” https://www.
pdf. Myocardial Infarction also referredas a heart attack is the condition where blood flow to the heart has decreased orstopped. In addition to this there is damage done to the heart.
This occurs dueto the result of a blockage in the coronary arteries. There are severalBiomedical and Non-Biomedical Tests carried out for the diagnosis of thiscondition. Electrocardiogram (ECGs) is the first of the tests that support thediagnosis of heart attacks. A Non-Biomedical test that helps to check if signsand symptoms that a patient shows are an indication of a heart attack. ECGsrecord the electrical impulses transported by the heart via electrode patches.Damaged heart muscle cannot carry electrical impulses, so it allows doctors tospot any abnormalities in the heart’s activity. Blood tests can be taken toobserve heart conditions. Damaged heart muscle can release Heart enzymes can intoyour blood, this is due to the effects on an attack.
Samples of a patient’sblood can be taken to test for the presence of these enzymes. Additionalimmediate tests are Medical Imagining such as chest X-Rays. High energy rays canbe passed through the patient’s body to observe if any fluids are found in thelungs, heart size and its blood vessels.
Echocardiograms involves sound wavesbeing aimed at the heart from a device known as a transducer, provide doctorswith video images of the heart. Through these images, conclusions can be made whetherthe cardiac system is functioning correctly and if a region of the heart hasbeen damaged due to a myocardial infarction. Catheters are also involved inbiomedical testing, cardiac catheterisation is the procedure where “a liquiddye is injected into the arteries of your heart through a long, thin tube(catheter) that’s fed through an artery, usually in your leg or groin, to thearteries in your heart. The dye makes the arteries visible on X-ray, revealingareas of blockage.
” “Heart attack.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundationfor Medical Education and Research, 29 July 2017, www.mayoclinic.
org/diseases-conditions/heart-attack/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373112. Days after a heart attack a patient mayundergo various exercises also known as stress tests which help monitor howblood vessels and the heart respond to certain body exertions. Patient can bemade to walk on a treadmill or simply provided with medication that stimulatesthe heart in a similar manner to how an exercise would. To conclude, a final exampleof testing for myocardial infarction is cardiac computerised tomography ormagnetic resonance imaging which can be used to help diagnose the severecondition.