Three Common Questions about Lab Test Results

Three Common Questions about Lab Test Results

Three Common Questions about Lab Test Results

Have you recently have bloodwork done?  Has your dermatologist recommended for you to have skin cell samples sent over to the lab for further testing?  Are you waiting for your results for your yearly pap smear?  There are countless tests that are performed by physicians and sent over to the lab for further testing.  These are done in order to provide the patient with the most accurate diagnosis and course of treatment, and sometimes they are done in order to rule out possible illness.  As a lab that works with dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, we understand how these results affect our patients.  However, when you receive your results, you may have some questions.  These are three of the most common questions you may have about lab test results.

What do my test results mean?

Lab results will often be indicated using a set of numbers that are known as the reference range.  These numbers are based on a normal range of data that is collected from a large group of healthy people.  This range may also be referred to as normal values.  If your results fall outside of the normal range, this may indicate that you will need further testing to determine the cause.  If you were tested in order to determine a diagnosis, you may see the results indicating positive, negative, or inconclusive.  

What are false results?

False positives and false negatives are not very common when it comes to lab testing, but they do happen from time-to-time.  A false positive result may so that you have been diagnosed with the disease but you actually don't have it.  A false negative result shows that your test results indicated that you did not have a disease that you actually have.   These test results may be due to incorrect testing processes or with certain tests.  You'll want to contact your physician to run multiple tests if you suspect this issue.

What factors affect results?

Many factors can actually affect the accuracy of your test results, such as certain foods and drinks, medicines, stress, being ill, vigorous exercise, and variations in the lab processes.  Whenever you have a discrepancy in your lab test results, you may want contact your doctor to ask if any of these factors may have affected your testing.

These are three of the most common questions that you may have about your lab test results when you receive them.  Reading your results can be confusing, but rest-assured that your physician is there to fully explain them.  As a lab specializing in dermatopathology in Pittsburgh, PA, we work closely with our medical facility partners to give their patients the medical attention they deserve.  Contact us to hear about our lab services today.



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