Chemical pathology

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(Redirected from Clinical biochemistry)

Chemical pathology (also known as clinical biochemistry or clinical chemistry) is the area of pathology that is generally concerned with analysis of bodily fluids.

The discipline originated in the late 19th century with the use of simple chemical tests for various components of blood and urine. Subsequently other techniques were applied including the use and measurement of enzyme activities, spectrophotometry, electrophoresis and immunoassay.

Most current laboratories are now highly automated and use assays that are closely monitored and quality controlled.

Tests that require examination and measurement of the cells of blood, as well as blood clotting studies, are not included as these are usually grouped under haematology.

All biochemical tests come under chemical pathology. These are usually performed on serum, (the yellow watery part of blood that is left after the blood has been allowed to clot and all blood cells have been removed. This is most easily done by centrifugation which packs the more dense blood cells and platelets to the bottom of the centrifuge tube, leaving the liquid serum fraction resting above the packed cells).

A large laboratory will accept up to about 700 tests. Even the largest of laboratories rarely does all these tests themselves and some need to be referred to other labs.

This large array of tests can be further sub-categorised into sub- specialities of:

Common Chemical Pathology tests are listed in the following table.

Sodium Potassium Chloride
Bicarbonate Urea Creatinine
Calcium Phosphate Albumin
Bilirubin AST ALT
GGT Alkaline phosphatase Magnesium
Osmolality Urate Iron
Transferrin Total protein Globulins
Glucose C-reactive protein HbA1c

See also

fi:Kliininen kemia fr:Chimie clinique

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