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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Clinical biochemistry

One or more of these tests may be ticked on your request form and they are usually performed on the day that the specimen arrives in the laboratory and the result returned to your Consultant/GP.

Urea and electrolytes

The Urea and Electrolytes (U&Es) may be requested as part of routine screening to check that the kidneys are functioning properly or to check a patient’s electrolyte balance.

Liver function tests

The Liver Function Tests (LFT) is a group of tests used to detect liver damage or disease. These may include jaundice, dark urine, diarrhoea and vomiting, stomach pains and swelling or tiredness. They may be requested to check whether drug treatment is having side effects.

Bone profile

The Bone Profile is a group of tests that include the measurement of Calcium and Phosphate.Alterations in these levels may be associated with both bone and kidney disease.

Cholesterol / triglycerides

Along with HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, Total Cholesterol and Triglycerides form the Lipid Profile. Levels of these circulating lipids may provide an indication of the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. Additional guidance for patients having a Fasting Blood Test is available.

High density lipoprotein

High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is popularly known as the good cholesterol.

High Density Lipoproteins (a combination of fats and proteins) are responsible for taking Cholesterol from the cells in the body to the liver for excretion via the bile.

Thyroid function

Testing the levels of the hormones, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Thyroxine (T4) are essential in the diagnosis of thyroid disorders and in the monitoring of their treatment.The thyroid may be overactive in a case of hyperthyroidism or under-active in a case of hypothyroidism.


Measuring the glucose level in the blood is a useful initial screening test for Diabetes. It may also be used to monitor Diabetes or to confirm hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose).

A single high result (Hyperglycaemia) may indicate Diabetes but this would need to be confirmed.

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