Herpes Blood Test
Blood tests to diagnose the presence of herpes virus antibodies can be done even if the patient does not have any visible symptoms. The standard available tests are not recommended since they are not very accurate. There is a potential for false positive results. A type specific virus culture will give an accurate result only when the sores have not healed. Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) and HSV-2 are the most common viruses diagnosed using type-specific blood tests. There are three methods available to diagnose herpes - Cell Culture, Antigen test and Pap Smear test.
Herpes Western Blot Test: A more sensitive test than the viral culture is the Gold Standard test known as PCR DNA test. This test also known as Herpes Western Blot test, which is rated as an accurate test to identify DNA for viral particles which easily differentiates the two types, viz. type-1 and type-2. This test can be carried out safely during pregnancy. A wide range of antibodies that respond against many herpes simplex virus proteins are tested in Western Blot test.
BIO-KIT or POCKit TEST: Recently, a more accurate POCKit type-specific test has been approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to diagnose herpes simplex virus-2. A doctor's office can do this Point Of Care (POCKit) test and provide results in just 10 minutes. This new test is cost-effective and less time consuming. A positive HSV-2 test result confirms genital infection. Sensitivity in this test is around 96% accurate. Using this test during pregnancy is not approved by FDA.
ELISA ,Immunoblot and IgG type specific Elisa are the other three tests carried out to diagnose HSV-1 & HSV-2 types with the sensitivity ranging from 96% - 100%. Blood drawn from the patient's arm is sent to local labs and the results are available in a fortnight.
CRP blood test
CRP (C-Reactive Protein) blood test measures the levels of a special protein produced by the liver during infection or acute inflammation. Usually blood does not contain CRP. CRP blood tests are often done to diagnose rheumatic fever, cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia or heart attack. Often CRP test is suggested along with ESR blood test to check for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Pregnant women or women on oral contraceptives may notice positive CRP in the blood. Since CRP blood test is indicative of inflammation in the blood, it is an important predictor of heart problems.
This blood test aids in detecting the risk of developing myocardial infarction. In patients suffering acute coronary syndrome, the hsCRP test can predict the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or ischemia. The reference range for hsCRP:
Low Risk: < 1 mg/L
Average Risk: 1 - 3 mg/L
High Risk: >3 mg/L
Acute inflammation: >10 mg/L
Liver biopsy involves removal of a small piece of tissue from the liver to evaluate for damage or disease. This diagnostic test is usually suggested when blood tests reveal high levels of liver enzymes or excessive iron. An inflamed liver may also need to be examined with a liver biopsy. Cases of cirrhosis or hepatitis may require liver biopsy to diagnose the extent of liver damage. A patient scheduled for liver biopsy will need to keep the physician informed of various medications that are taken, such as anticoagulants, ibuprofen and aspirin. It is necessary to fast for about 8 hours prior to the liver biopsy procedure. The patient may be asked to stay in the hospital for a few hours to observe for any signs of bleeding or other complications as as peritonitis or puncture of the gallbladder.Liver biopsy is done in the following ways:
Percutaneous liver biopsy involves use of special needle to make an incision through the skin, taking care not to nick any other internal organs.
Laparoscopic liver biopsy involves use of laparoscope to make a small incision in the abdomen. This aids the physician in taking a biopsy from a specific part of the liver.
Transvenous liver biopsy involves insertion of a catheter into a vein in the neck and guiding it to the liver. The biopsy needle is fitted to the catheter.
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 19, 2019