What Are Some Different Types of Blood Tests?

Jovanmandic/iStock/Getty Images

Types of blood test include a full or complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and blood metabolic panel, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the U.K.’s National Health Service. Blood tests help doctors to diagnose the health conditions of a patient or to screen genetic factors.

A CBC test identifies the number and types of the different cells in the blood from which doctors get clues about the health of the patient, says the NHS. For instance, a low hemoglobin count indicates anemia, while a high count may result from problems in the lungs or the bone marrow.

In an ESR test, doctors check the time red blood cells take to fall to the bottom of a test tube. A faster falling rate indicates higher levels of inflammation, says the NHS. ESR tests help doctors to diagnose inflammations such as endocarditis, arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

A BMP test measures chemicals in the plasma such as calcium, glucose and electrolytes, notes the NHLBI. BMP tests provide doctors with information about the muscles such as the heart and organs such as the liver and the kidneys. Abnormal glucose levels in the blood indicate a possibility of diabetes, while abnormal electrolyte levels indicate problems with organs such as the kidneys, the liver or the heart.