This page contains a series of articles about interpreting laboratory tests.
Although there is a lot of general information about how lab tests might be used to assess your health it is very important to interpret them in the light of why they have been taken. This article includes a key to interpreting some of the abbreviations we use when commenting on your blood test results.
These articles are intended to be a guide for your information and to help you understand a little more about why blood tests are taken and how they may be used, but they are not meant to replace a medical consultation, nor to be a pick list from which tests are to be selected.
Laboratory tests need to be interpreted in the context of why they were taken and occasionally the interpretation may seem to be at odds with what is written in these articles - that is because there is a point at which the articles become too unwieldy for general use and so they are of necessity brief and limited in scope. If you are confused or concerned, you need to see the doctor to discuss your results.
When you see your blood test results, you may also see a comment from the doctor. These comments are intended to make it easy for us to locate relevant tests in the future but may also have additional information for you.
We use some common abbreviations in our comments:
n - the test results are normal, or if abnormal are unlikely to be significant.
k - (sometimes OK) - although abnormal this test requires no action.
isq - in status quo - although signficantly abnormal, this test result is similar to previous results.
rpt - this test should be repeated. Often follwed by a time period.
3/12 - three months. A medical time abbreviation. the first number is how many, the second is what period. 7=days, 52=weeks, 12=months. Thus 6/52= 6 weeks.
55 (or other number) this is just to make it easy for us to see test results in a list and has no meaning other than being the result itself.
TCI - to come in. The doctor would like to see you about this test result. Sometimes with a time frame specified. We should be in touch about this, but if not, please make an appointment.
prob - probably, usually followed by a comment about what the test might mean.
? - on its own means 'uncertain significance' but ? followed by a diagnosis or words means 'perhaps' - generally used when we are uncertain or even quite unsure of how to interpret a result.
Occasionally tests will be filed without a comment - this usually occurs when the test has been ordered and interpreted by a doctor elsewhere - perhaps the hospital or the after hours service.
Sometimes test results may not be available immediately. This may be because the tests take some time to return from the laboratory or that the doctor is taking some time to consider the meaning of the result.
Occasionally test results are not sent to us electronically and so may not be available to view on the portal. If you are concerned that important test results are not visible and it has been at least 1 week since the test, please contact the surgery.
If you have any questions about your blood test results, please make an appointment.
Blood Test: Alden Chadwick