Articles on Medical Diseases and Conditions

Entries Tagged ‘Serum’

Diseases of Mineral Metabolism

Wilson’s disease (hepatolenticular degeneration). Wilson’s disease is a familial disorder of copper metabolism transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait. It most often becomes manifest between ages 8 and 30 years; symptoms usually do not develop before age 6 years. About 30%-50% of patients initially develop hepatic symptoms, about 30%-40% begin with neurologic symptoms, and about […]


Thyroid carcinoma seems to have generated a considerable number of misconceptions. About 20% of these tumors are “pure” papillary, about 10% pure follicular, about 50% mixed papillary and follicular, and about 5% (range, 2%–10%) are called medullary. However, the pure papillary carcinoma usually has a few follicular elements if enough histologic sections are made, and […]

Male Infertility or Hypogonadism

About 40%-50% of infertility problems are said to be due to dysfunction of the male reproductive system. Male infertility can be due to hormonal etiology (either lack of gonadotropin or suppression of spermatogenesis), nonhormonal factors affecting spermatogenesis, primary testicular disease, obstruction to sperm passages, disorders of sperm motility or viability or presence of antisperm antibodies […]

Tests of Gonadal Function

The most common conditions in which gonadal function tests are used are hypogonadism in males and menstrual disorders, fertility problems, and hirsutism or virilization in females. The hormones currently available for assistance include lutropin (luteinizing hormone; LH), follitropin (follicle-stimulating hormone; FSH), testosterone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Gonadal function is regulated by […]

Thyroid Tests in Hypothyroidism

Serum thyroxine. Thyroxine is frequently used as the major screening test for hypothyroidism, since the T4 level is low in most cases. There is some overlap between hypothyroid patients and normal persons in the lower part of the T4 reference range, since persons with mild, early, or subclinical disease may be inadvertently included in groups […]

Serum Fructosamine Assay

Besides Hb A, albumin and various globulins may undergo nonenzymatic glycosylation. In contrast to hemoglobin, which has a serum half-life of about 60 days, albumin has a half-life of about 17-20 days, and total protein (roughly one half albumin and one half globulins) has a half-life of about 30 days. Either glycosylated albumin or glycosylated […]

Plasma (or Serum) Insulin Assay

Insulin was the first hormone measured successfully by radioisotope immunoassay, and insulin assay is now available in most sizable reference laboratories. Insulin is excreted primarily through the kidneys. In general, juvenile diabetics have low fasting insulin levels, and an OGTT using insulin determinations usually produces a flat curve. Mild diabetics have normal fasting insulin levels […]

Evaluation of Protein-Calorie Nutritional Status

Various studies have shown that a significant degree of malnutrition is frequent in hospitalized persons, ranging from 25%-50% of patients (depending on whether the population screened was a general or specialty group). In one report, 97% of surgical patients had at least one abnormal result on tests for nutritional status. Classification of protein-calorie malnutrition Although […]

Serum Magnesium Abnormalities

Magnesium is the fourth most common body cation (after sodium, potassium, and calcium) and the second most common intracellular cation (after potassium). About half is located in soft tissue and muscle cells and about half is in bone. Only 1%-5% is extracellular. Most body magnesium is derived from food intake. About one third of dietary […]

Serum Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein (PTHrP)

Since many patients (50% or more) with cancer and hypercalcemia do not have demonstrable bone metastases or PHPT, it has long been suspected that the cancer could be producing a parathyroid hormonelike substance. The parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) molecule has a C-terminal end and an N-terminal end like PTH; in addition, a portion of the […]