Inflammatory #2 Essential Blood Test Panel
The Inflammatory #2 Essential Blood Test Panel includes CRP hs Cardiac, Lipoprotein (a), A1c, Homocysteine, Fibrinogen, Insulin, Lipase.
The CRP blood test determines whether a high or increasing amount of CRP in your blood suggests an acute infection or inflammation. In severe cases of inflammation, c-reactive protein increases. Therefore, CRP tests are ordered when a risk of acute inflammation (from an infection after surgery for example) is present, or suspected based on symptoms. This blood test can also be ordered to help evaluate conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and it is often repeated to determine whether treatment is effective (this is helpful for inflammation problems since CRP levels drop as inflammation subsides). CRP blood tests can additionally be used as an early detection system for possible infections in patients who have healing wounds, burns, surgical cuts or incisions, or who have just had an organ transplant.
The A1c (Glycohemoglobin) test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last two to three months. This is done by measuring the concentration of glycated (also often called glycosylated) hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-transporting protein that is found inside red blood cells (RBCs). The predominant form is hemoglobin A.
Lipoprotein (a) has been called a powerful predictor of premature atherosclerotic vascular disease.1 As an independent risk factor for premature coronary artery disease, excess Lp(a) concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cardiac death in patients with acute coronary syndromes and with restenosis after angioplasty (PTCA) and coronary bypass procedures. In general, concentrations >30 mg/dL of Lp(a) in serum are associated with a two- to sixfold increase in risk, depending on the presence of other risk factors. Measurement of lipoprotein (a) is now recommended in several patient subgroups for whom excess lipoprotein (a) may have important clinical consequences: (1) patients with premature atherosclerosis, (2) patients with a strong family history of premature coronary heart disease (CHD), (3) patients with elevated LDL-C and greater than or equal to two risk factors, (4) patients who have had coronary angioplasty in whom lipoprotein (a) excess may increase the risk of restenosis, and (5) patients who have undergone coronary bypass graft surgery in whom Lp(a) excess may be associated with graft stenosis. The Lp(a) levels in different ethnic populations can vary widely. Africans, or people of African descent, generally have Lp(a) levels higher than Caucasians and Asians, while Native Americans generally have levels lower than Caucasians. This variability of Lp(a) levels by ethnic population requires careful interpretation of results based on a knowledge of the patient and other cardiac risk factors which may be present.
Homocysteine is an amino acid that can be linked to several vitamins like folic acid, B6 and B12. Deficiencies of these vitamins may cause elevated levels of homocysteine. Research suggest that people with elevated homocysteine levels have a much greater risk of heart attack or stroke than those with normal levels. Additionally, increased concentrations of homocysteine have been linked to an increase in blood clots, which can lead to strokes, heart attack and blood vessel blockages in any part of the body.
Fibrinogen, a protein essential for blood clot formation, is produced by the liver and released as needed into the bloodstream. Typically, when a blood vessel wall or body tissue is injured, the coagulation cascade activates fibrinogen and more than 20 other clotting factors, one after the other. As the cascade nears completion, soluble fibrinogen changes into insoluble fibrin threads. The threads crosslink to form a fibrin net that stabilizes at the site of injury. The fibrin net adheres to the site of injury, along with platelets, and forms a stable blood clot. This blood clot serves as a barrier and prevents additional blood loss. The clot remains in place until the injured area heals completely. Fibrinogen is one of many blood factors called acute phase reactants. Along with other acute phase reactants, blood levels of fibrinogen rise sharply with some conditions, causing acute tissue inflammation or damage. A fibrinogen test measures the amount of soluble Factor I (which is fibrinogen dissolved in the blood) before it has turned into insoluble fibrin and crosslinked into a fibrin net.
Insulin levels may be useful predicting susceptibility to the development of type II diabetes, though C-peptide has mostly supplanted insulin measurement for this role. The measurement of insulin levels is not included in The American Diabetes Association recommendations for diagnosis.
Lipase is used to help diagnose pancreatitis which is more specific for pancreatitis than is serum amylase; diagnose peritonitis, strangulated or infarcted bowel, and pancreatic cyst. Serum lipase is usually normal in patients with elevated serum amylase, without pancreatitis, who have peptic ulcer, salivary adenitis, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal obstruction, and macroamylasemia. Coexistence of increased serum amylase with normal lipase may be a helpful clue to the presence of macroamylasemia.1 Lipase is elevated with amylase in acute pancreatitis, but the elevation of lipase is more prolonged.
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