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General Chemistry

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General Chemistry
Lab/NL Values Deviations & Causes
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or SGPT 0–35 u/L ↑ in hepatitis, liver disease, bile duct damage, CHF, DM, mono, myopathy

Albumin/3.5–5.5 g/100 mL

↓ in chronic liver disease; protein malnutrition, renal disease, malabsorption syndrome, chronic infection, acute stress
Aldolase/1.3–8.2 U/L ↑ in muscle or liver damage or disease

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)/33–131 U/L

Infants-adolescents <104 U/L

Age >61 51–153

↑ in liver & bone diseases (obstructive & hepatocellular liver disease), obstructive jaundice, biliary cirrhosis, etc, ↑ in osteomalacia, metastatic bone disease & slight ↑ in healing fractures
Alpha-1 antitrypsin 1.5–3.5 g/L ↓ Indicates ↑ risk of panacinar emphysema at age <50 & liver cirrhosis
Ammonia/2–55 μmol/L ↑ in hepatic encephalopathy & Reye syndrome; tested to evaluate changes in consciousness
Amylase/30–100 U/mL

↑ in acute pancreatitis (first hs, NL in 2–3 d); ↑ for wks/mos w/chronic pancreatitis; ↑ in peritonitis, perforated peptic ulcer, acute intestinal obstruction, mesenteric thrombosis, & inflamm of salivary glands (e.g., mumps)

Anion gap/8–16 mEq/L

A calculated value using the results of electrolyte panel

↑ w/metabolic acidosis (e.g., uncontrolled DM, starvation, kidney damage, intake of toxic substances, ↑ aspirin, methanol)

↓ w/↓ albumin or w/↑ immunoglobulins


↑ in heart, liver, & skeletal muscle diseases & w/use of some meds

↑ in acute MI, necrosis of heart muscle (myocarditis), acute liver damage, cirrhosis, metastatic CA, obstructive jaundice, infectious mono, congestive hepatomegaly; ↑ in muscle diseases, gangrene of muscle, dermatomyositis, crush injury, & ingestion of aspirin, codeine, & cortisone

Bilirubin total/<1.0 mg/100 mL

↑ w/destruction of RBCs: hemolytic diseases, hemorrhage, hepatic dysfunction, transfusion-initiated hemolysis, autoimmune disease

Brain natriuretic peptide BNP/<100 pg/mL ↑ w/heart failure

<500 goal for hospital D/C

>700 decompensated heart failure

BUN/8–22 mg/100 mL

↑ w/high protein intake, dehydration, burns, GI hemorrhage, renal disease, prostate hypertrophy

↓ w/low protein ingestion, starvation, liver dysfunction, cirrhosis

Calcitonin: ♀ 0–5 pg/mL

♂ 0–12 pg/mL

↑ in C-cell hyperplasia & MTC; used to screen for medullary thyroid cancer. Used to treat osteoporosis or hypercalcemia

Calcium/8.5–10.5 mg/100 mL

↑ w/↑ vitamin D intake, osteoporosis, ↓ Na, ↓ urinary excretion, immobilization, ↑ Ca reabsorption, hypothyroidism

↓ w/↓ vitamin D intake, pregnancy, excessive diuretic, starvation

↓ Mg++, acute pancreatitis, hypoalbuminemia

Carbon dioxide content/bicarbonate or CO2/24–30 mEq/L Altered w/electrolyte imbalance; chronic disease, esp. kidney disease; & to evaluate acid-base balance; ↑ indicates alkalotic compensation or disease, ↓ in acidic compensation or metabolic acidosis
Chloride 95–105 mEq/L

↓ w/K+-sparing diuretics, vomiting, excess ingestion of K+

↑ (rarely) w/diarrhea, NH4Cl ingestion

Cholesterol/<200 mg/dL ↑ Indicates ↑ risk for heart disease

Cortisol/5–25 μg/100 mL (AM)

<10 μg/100 mL (PM)

↓ in Addison disease & anterior pituitary hypofunction; ↑ Cushing syndrome & stress
Creatine: ♂ 0.2–0.5 mg/dL; ♀ 0.3–0.9 mg/dL ↑ in kidney disease/monitoring of progression of kidney function

Creatinine kinase <100 U/L CK MB <5%

↑ in heart or skeletal muscle, progressive muscular dystrophy, ...

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