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Understanding Lab Test Results

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Why It Is Done

Lab tests are generally done for one of the following reasons:

  • To find the cause of symptoms
  • To confirm a diagnosis
  • To screen for a disease. Screening tests are often done for people of a specific age or those who have a high risk for a specific disease.
  • To help rule out a disease or condition
  • To assess the severity of a disease
  • To monitor the progression of a disease, how well an organ is working, or if treatment is helping
  • To verify specific events (for example, DNA testing after a rape, or urine testing to look for drug use)

Many conditions can change your lab results. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results as they relate to you.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 23, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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