A chemistry screen is a blood test that
measures the levels of several substances in the blood (such as
electrolytes). A chemistry screen tells your doctor
about your general health, helps look for certain problems, and finds out
whether treatment for a specific problem is working.
chemistry screens look at more substances in the blood than others do. The most
complete form of a chemistry screen (called a chem-20, SMA-20, or SMAC-20)
looks at 20 different things in the blood. Other types of chemistry screens
(such as an SMA-6, SMA-7, or SMA-12) look at fewer. The type of chemistry
screen you have done depends on what information your doctor is looking
For more information about specific parts of a
chemistry screen, see:
Why It Is Done
A chemistry screen may be done:
- As part of a routine physical examination.
- To help you and your doctor plan changes in your meal plan or
- To look for problems, such as a low or high blood
glucose level that may be causing a specific symptom.
- To follow a
specific health condition and check how well a treatment is
- Before you have surgery.