Clinical chemistry

¿What is it and what tests are performed in the area of Clinical Chemistry?

It is the biochemical study of body fluids, especially blood and urine, which uses chemical reactions that occur in the samples and can be detected by photometric methods (absorbance, turbidimetry, fluorescence), to identify and quantify biologically important components (called analytes) present in these.

The determination of these analytes allows the diagnosis, monitoring, treatment control, screening and detection of the risk of developing many diseases.

Clinical chemistry tests allow the detection of a wide variety of analytes that reflect the state or function of different body systems, or are indicators of certain diseases, through the use of automated analyzers, which only require small amounts of sample.

Routine clinical chemistry tests include measurement of analytes to assess metabolic (e.g. glucose), liver (e.g. ALT, AST) and kidney function (e.g. creatinine, BUN), as well as lipid subtypes (total, HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides), nutritional status (e.g. iron, vitamin B12) and electrolyte levels (e.g. sodium, chloride and potassium).


Measurement of body hormones, including reproductive hormones, thyroid hormones, pregnancy tests (β-hCG), among others, protein detection (e.g. albumin, ferritin, immunoglobulins), tumor markers (CEA, CA 19-9, CA 15-3, AFP) and drug monitoring (e.g. valproic acid) are also performed. In addition, screening tests for IgM and IgG antibodies against infectious agents such as cytomegalovirus, rubella virus, Toxoplasma gondii, hepatitis B and C viruses, and HIV.

¿What type of samples are tested in this area and what are the testing requirements?

Serum, occasional urine and 24-hour urine samples are analyzed. Each test has specific conditions of the patient for analysis, some require fasting, others to suspend the consumption of liquor, exercise or sexual relations days before, or special collections, in the case of urines. The requirements for each test can be consulted in the laboratory’s test catalog.

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