About specialty

Blood and urine tests

Laboratory tests are an important element of diagnostics. Their results are not only used to diagnose diseases, but also to monitor your health, assess the effectiveness of treatment, and in clinical trials and research. In case of chronic problems, laboratory tests indicate their causes, show the risk of falling ill or diagnose diseases before they develop. Regular laboratory tests are a good way to keep healthy and to feel well.

You can refer yourself for laboratory tests when you want to check your general condition. Usually, they are performed at the request of a doctor and are aimed at finding the cause of the problem. With the help of high-quality diagnostic equipment and the specialists that support it, it is possible to detect diabetes, atherosclerosis, anaemia, allergies, and other diseases.

Referring to a laboratory test is preceded by a medical interview and a physical examination. On this basis, doctor decides about the choice of tests and directs the patient to a specific laboratory. Basic biochemical and haematological tests are performed in all medical laboratories. Some tests (immunological, histopathological, microbiological or serological) can be performed in selected, specialised labs.

Reasons for ordering laboratory tests:

• screening tests (employee periodic tests, driver tests, tests of newborns for phenylketonuria, cystic fibrosis or hypothyroidism)

• confirmation or exclusion of a disease

• to determine the degree of damage to organs (liver, kidneys) in poisoning or inflammation

• evaluation and monitoring of chronic diseases (creatinine level in dialysis patients, assessing risk of atherosclerosis, markers of liver damage in hepatitis)

• assessing the effectiveness of treatment (glucose level in diabetes, TSH in diseases of the thyroid gland, cholesterol and triglycerides in hyperlipidaemia)

• monitoring drug levels during therapy to determine the correct doses (post-transplant, in leukaemia)

• other (research)

Laboratory tests use various body fluids, such as swabs from a throat, nose, vagina, sputum, pus from a wound, gallstones, and even cerebrospinal fluid. However, most likely laboratory tests are run from blood and urine samples.

An important element of laboratory tests is proper handling of the samples. Biological material should be properly collected, described, and transported.

Blood tests

Blood tests are performed most frequently. This applies especially to basic tests, which use both blood and serum or plasma. Plasma or serum are mostly used in blood biochemistry, whole blood for haematology, and both for serology. In case of coagulation tests (PT, APTT, fibrinogen, TT), blood plasma is collected in test tubes containing citrate solution, and for ESR testing, whole blood is also drawn into test tubes containing citrate solution.

Examples of blood tests:

• biochemical tests (glucose, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, urea, uric acid, total protein, albumin, total bilirubin, keratin kinase, creatinine, alanine and aspartate aminotransferases, fibrinogen, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, phosphorus, iron, ferritin)

• haematology tests (FBC, platelets, reticulocytes, red blood cell sedimentation (ESR), haemoglobin glycosylation - HbA1c)

• immunological tests (anti-TPO test, anti-TSHR test, rheumatoid factor, IgA-EmA IgA, IgG)

• serological tests (blood group, anti-RH, alloantibody screening test and others)

• hormone tests (thyrotropin (TSH), free thyroxine (fT4), free triiodothyronine (fT3), prolactin, oestradiol, progesterone, testosterone, parathyroid hormone, ACTH, calcitonin, vitamin D3, hCG, PAPP-A, insulin and others)

• tumour markers to detect prostate cancer (PSA), CEA, colorectal cancer (MSH2, MLH1, MSH6), APC, breast cancer (BRCA1 and BRCA2)

• allergy tests (single allergens or food, respiratory, mixed, paediatric panels)

• monitoring drug levels (digoxin, theophylline, anti-epileptics)

Urine test

General urinalysis is one of the basic laboratory tests used to assess the functioning of the urinary system. Urine tests can diagnose kidney stones, cystitis, reflux nephropathy, and even diabetes. Indication for the urine test should be any concerning symptoms of the urinary system (haematuria, lower abdominal pain while urinating, discomfort, feeling of pressure on the bladder).

For urine testing, a sample is usually taken from the morning collection, the most concentrated, and therefore the best for assessing the urine sediment and its components. Doctor may also recommend a daily collection. In this case, follow the instructions for collecting and storing the samples and deliver them to the laboratory.

In the general examination of the morning collection urine, physical properties (transparency, density, odour, colour) are assessed, as well as the presence of pathological components (glucose, protein, bilirubin, ketone bodies, urobilinogen, amylase, erythrocytes, leukocytes). Urine weight and pH are also assessed, and the sediment is microscopically checked.

Urine can be tested for culture with an antibiogram, and also to determine the level of drugs (opiates, amphetamines, marijuana).

Stool tests

A stool test allows to detect parasitic diseases, infections, and also to answer the question of how the digestive system works. A simple examination can detect stomach ulcers and even colon cancer. The result of this test can also be used in the diagnosis of anaemia. It allows easily and quickly detect the presence of blood in the tested sample. A stool test can be used to check the sample for mucus, which may indicate inflammation in the intestines. 

Types of stool tests:

• for the presence of occult blood

• parasite examination (for the presence of parasites)

• for the presence of undigested meat fibres and fats

• stool culture for the presence of Salmonella and Shigella.

By testing for undigested meat fibres and fats, we can find out how the body deals with digesting food. The faeces are subjected to bacteriological and microscopic assessment.

Parasite examination is recommended in case of chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain, or lack of appetite. Collected samples are evaluated under a microscope, and this allows to detect protozoa (amoebas, flagellates), roundworms (roundworm, nematode, whipworm, duodenal hookworm) or flat worms (flukes, tapeworm).

Blood test

  • Most blood tests should be performed on an empty stomach, approximately 12 hours after last meal. Children can have a light breakfast before the test.
  • You should not have sweet drinks or a coffee in the morning before the test, to not disturb some parameters. You can have a little bit of water.
  • Blood tests should not be run after a sleepless night, strenuous physical exertion or after consuming alcohol the night before.
  • If you take regular medications your doctor should advise whether you can take them as usual. However, if possible, it is best to take medications after blood sampling, especially supplements and vitamins.
  • Hormonal tests do not require fasting (except Prolactin test).
  • Patient should tell the phlebotomist if he / she tends to faint so appropriate arrangements can be made.

General urine test

  • For the urine test, the first morning sample is taken after waking up.
  • The sample should be placed in a clean, disposable container.
  • Container should be labelled with the patient's name, date of birth and the date the sample was taken.
  • Urine should not be collected during menstrual bleeding.

Urine test for culture

  • For general urine test and culture, the first sample is collected in the morning, under certain conditions.
  • Urine containers must be sterile.
  • Before urination you must thoroughly wash your genitals (use water and avoid disinfectants).
  • Collect urine from the so-called middle stream.
  • Provide two samples for testing, min. 20ml each.
  • Containers have to be labelled with the patient's name, date of birth, date and time of the sample collection.
  • Urine must be delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible, up to a maximum of 2 hours from the sample collection.

Stool examination

  • Fresh stool sample should be collected from several places with a spatula, in an amount of the size of a hazelnut.
  • Avoid the sample contamination with urine and chemicals used for toilet disinfection.
  • Container should be tightly closed, labelled with the patient’s name, surname, date of birth and date of sampling.
  • Container should be delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible.
  • Collection of stool sample for occult blood does not require a special diet.
  • Stool sample should not be collected during menstruation.

We ofer over one thousand blood, urine and stool tests, which are listed here:

Comprehensive list of tests available in our surgeries.

You can find the list of most popular tests and profiles on our website, in the price list of medical laboratory.

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