What Are the Meanings of the Abbreviations Used to Describe Blood Test Results?


Quick Answer

The abbreviations and acronyms on blood test results vary with different types of tests. Many of the abbreviations stand for metric units of measure, whereas others identify specific blood chemistry components, cell types or test types, explains Newport Natural Health.

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Metric units of measure found on blood test results may include "cmm" for cells per cubic millimeter, "fL" for fraction of one-millionth of a liter, "g/dL" for grams per deciliter and "IU/L" for international units per liter. Other common units are "mg/dL" for milligrams per deciliter, "mL" for milliliter and "ng/mL" for nanograms per milliliter, as listed by Newport Natural Health.

The complete blood count test, or CBC, measures the cells and platelets in blood. The following are commonly used abbreviations defined by Newport Natural Health: "WBC" is white blood cells, or leukocyte count; "RBC" is red blood cells, or erythrocyte count; "Hct" is hematocrit, the percentage of blood volume consisting of red blood cells; "Hgb" is hemoglobin, the oxygen-delivering component of blood; "MCV" is mean corpuscular volume, the average volume of individual red blood cells; "MCH" is mean corpuscular hemoglobin, the average hemoglobin in a typical red cell; and "MPV" is mean platelet volume, the average size of blood platelets.

A chemistry or metabolic panel may include "AST," or aspartate aminotransferase, an enzyme indicating potential heart or liver problems if discovered at elevated levels. Blood urea nitrogen is "BUN," a test of liver and kidney function. A lipid panel or profile examines cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and it usually includes "HDL" and "LDL," the high-density and low-density lipoproteins that are considered the "good" and "bad" forms of cholesterol, respectively. Thyroid tests include "T3" and "T4" for triiodothyronine and thyroxine, two hormones indicating thyroid health.

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