Last updated on November 2nd, 2022 at 09:32 am
If you have mild or severe symptoms of covid-19, your doctor may advise an RT PCR test for covid. Getting an early COVID RT-PCR test result is often tough. Some blood tests for covid can help your doctor determine if you have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Blood Test for Covid
Quick Jump Table
Almost all of us have done a blood test in our life. Whether it is for a general checkup or a specific problem, it is critical to understand the purpose and limitations of the tests we do. This article will simplify those for you. In this article, we are writing about COVID-19 specific blood tests.
Given that getting an RT-PCR test may be difficult or getting reports is taking time, some blood tests can help your doctor determine if you have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Of course, currently, some of these blood markers are also hard to find given the surge in cases in India. healthcare nt sickcare in Pune reporting all blood tests for covid in 24hrs.
What all are the Blood Test for Covid Patient?
The most commonly prescribed blood tests when a doctor suspects COVID or you are COVID positive are the following. An HR CT scan is also usually recommended.
- CRP: C reactive protein test
- CBC: Complete Blood Count
- Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) Test
- D-Dimer test
- Interleukin 6 (IL 6 Test)
- LFT: Liver Function test
- Serum Ferritin Test
- Serum Creatinine Test
Some of these tests are the ones you may have done when you have got a health checkup. Some specific ones look at inflammation, like CRP and IL-6. D-Dimer looks at blood clots.
Covid Blood Test
Blood test for Covid patients in Pune
So what is the significance of each of those above tests for covid-19 patient?
CRP Test (C- Reactive Protein)
This is a blood test to help detect inflammation or an infection. For COVID, this is a commonly used blood marker as increased levels may reflect infection spreading in the body.
This happens quickly (within hours) and can increase a thousand-fold as well. This may be before other symptoms someone may see, as inflammation is our body’s first response to infection.
We may all now be familiar with CRP thanks to its use as a screening test for COVID. This test is often prescribed to monitor patients after surgery, transplant, or to detect sepsis (an infection in the blood), heart attack, etc.
Your doctor may order this test if you have tested positive (RT PCR) for COVID. Alternatively, you can get this done if you have symptoms like fever, chills, rapid heart rate, or fast breathing. For those with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or Lupus, this is used to assess the effectiveness of the treatment.
Normal Range of CRP Test – Up to 6 mg/L
CBC – Complete Blood Count
Complete Blood Count or CBC is an analysis of the size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of blood. If you remember your high school biology, you remember that our blood has several types of cells, like WBC (white blood cells), RBC (red blood cells) and platelets.
When you see an increased number of WBC, it means that the body is fighting an infection. You have also probably heard of platelet count for dengue patients. When platelets reduce, you know it is not a good sign.
- Red blood cells transport oxygen. They fight anaemia and fatigue.
- White blood cells fight infection. Increased WBC count may show an infection. Decreased levels may show certain rheumatic diseases or reaction to the medication.
- Platelets prevent bleeding and bruising. Their count is measured to check for a blood infection.
Eosinophils are one white blood cell that helps fight disease and typically makes up to 6 percent of the blood. Based on evidence from several articles, if a COVID positive patient has lower eosinophils and lymphocytes; they are likely to have a longer hospital stay.
Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH) Test
Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), also known as lactic acid dehydrogenase, is found in blood or other body fluids. As we had mentioned earlier, since it ends in “ase”, it is an enzyme.
LDH is an enzyme that plays an important role in the production of energy for the body. When you have high levels, it means that some infection or disease has attacked your body. It means you have tissue damage because of disease or infection. So for COVID, elevated levels can show active infection.
This test is non-specific, though. There is a different test called the LDH isoenzyme test that can help with severity and location and type of tissue damage.
Normal Range of LDH Test
- Newborns: 160-450 U/L
- Infants: 100-250 U/L
- Children: 60-170 U/L
- Adults: 100-190 U/L
- Non-specific: 105-333 IU/L
D Dimer Test
D-dimer is a fibrin degradation product that is often used to measure and assess clot formation. In COVID-19 patients, elevated D-dimer levels have been associated with disease severity and mortality trends.
Typically, these tests are done if you have symptoms of a bleeding/clotting disorder such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, etc., as D-dimer is produced when a blood clot is dissolved. Normally, the levels are very low unless there is an injury or infection. These levels may rise sharply with COVID.
You must have heard the term haemorrhage connected with brain haemorrhage, etc. That occurs when blood is lost to bleeding. The opposite of that is hemostasis, the body’s mechanism to create a clot to prevent bleeding and maintain stability. So when a blood vessel or tissue is injured, blood-based hemostasis is started with the production of a protein called fibrin.
Once it heals, then the body uses an enzyme called plasmin to break the clot, so it goes away. What remains of the fibrin now are fibrin degradation products (FDP), which have many sizes of the cross-linked fibrin.
One byproduct of the breakdown of fibrin is D-dimer, which we can measure in your blood sample. This level can be very high when many clots are formed and broken. We imagine many of us have heard of ‘blood clots’ and ‘COVID’ said in the same sentence many times this year.
Understandably, this is therefore an important parameter to look at. There can be many more reasons to have increased levels of D-dimer than mentioned above.
Normal Range of D-Dimer Test: <500 ng/mL
Interleukin 6 Test
This is a fascinating cytokine, a protein produced by certain immune cells during inflammation or tissue injury. This is a reaction to both our innate and adaptive immunity.
From our innate immunity perspective, IL6 is a very potent pro-inflammatory cytokine It first goes to the liver and attacks the hepatocytes (hepato means liver), which shows an increase in several markers like CRP (discussed above), fibrinogen (cardiac disease), hipcidin (anaemia of chronic disease), increased platelet count, and more.
IL6 in the adaptive immunity allows antibody-producing B cells to proliferate, leading to an enhanced antibody response. IL6 can be found in patients who have localised infections, chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, or infections like COVID-19.
Note: IL6 is not very stable if the sample is not properly stored or used for 24 hours.
Normal Range of IL 6 Test: 0-16.4 pg/mL
LFT–Liver Function Test
The liver filters and processes the blood circulating throughout the body. The liver performs several vital functions, including metabolising nutrients, detoxification of harmful substances, and production of blood-clotting proteins. The liver achieves this because of proteins it contains called enzymes that drive these chemical reactions.
With liver injury, the cells get damaged or destroyed, leaking these enzymes into the bloodstream, which are measured through such tests showing possible liver injury. The two main enzymes tested are SGOT and SGPT.
Ferritin is a blood protein that contains iron. A ferritin test helps your doctor understand how much iron your body stores.
Low ferritin means that your bank balance of iron is low in the body. Now, why is that important? When there is a cytokine storm in your body, these levels will be unusually high. Your doctor can help understand if your body has been attacked by a cytokine storm and suggest the next steps.
Normal Range of Ferritin Test: 23.9-336.2 ng/mg
Serum Creatinine Test
Serum Creatinine test measures the creatinine levels in the blood. Creatinine is a byproduct of energy production in the muscles. Creatinine enters and exits the bloodstream at a constant rate. The kidneys filter and help in the elimination of creatinine. Higher levels of serum creatinine may show poor kidney function or kidney damage.
Impaired kidney function is often associated with COVID. Some studies suggest that COVID patients are at a higher risk of acute kidney injury. Your doctor may recommend a serum creatinine test to assess kidney health.
Normal Range of Creatinine Test: 0.5 to 1.50 mg/dL
Charges of Blood Test for Covid Patients in Pune
|CRP Test||₹ 399.00|
|CBC Test||₹ 149.00|
|D-Dimer Test||₹ 1499.00|
|Ferritin Test||₹ 499.00|
|LDH Test||₹ 399.00|
|LFT Test||₹ 449.00|
|IL 6 Test||₹ 3299.00|
|Creatinine Test||₹ 149.00|
Reference: by Anu Acharya in Yourstory
You May Also Interest To Read; D-Dimer Test Normal Range.
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