Decoding A Biochemical Blood Test In Adults: Table, Norms

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Decoding A Biochemical Blood Test In Adults: Table, Norms
Decoding A Biochemical Blood Test In Adults: Table, Norms

Video: Decoding A Biochemical Blood Test In Adults: Table, Norms

Video: Decoding A Biochemical Blood Test In Adults: Table, Norms
Video: Introduction to lab values and normal ranges | Health & Medicine | Khan Academy 2023, December

Decoding a biochemical blood test in adults: a table of results, norms

The content of the article:

  1. Preparation for a biochemical blood test in adults
  2. Norms of biochemical blood analysis in adults
  3. Decoding of indicators of biochemical blood test in adults

    1. Total protein
    2. Glucose
    3. Total cholesterol
    4. Total bilirubin
    5. ALT
    6. AST
    7. GGT
    8. Alkaline phosphatase
    9. Urea
    10. Creatinine
    11. Alpha amylase
    12. Lactate dehydrogenase
    13. Calcium
    14. Iron
    15. Magnesium

    To decipher the biochemical blood test in adults and interpret the results, you should contact a qualified specialist who will explain in detail what specific studies mean and what the result shows.

    A biochemical blood test is a laboratory study, the results of which make it possible to assess the state of various organs and body systems.

    In the form with the results of a biochemistry blood test, the patient's indicators and reference values for comparison are indicated:


    Normal values Values for hepatitis
    Total serum bilirubin 17 μmol / l (in adults - 21) Significant increase
    Direct serum bilirubin Up to 3.4 μmol / l Magnification
    Indirect serum bilirubin 17 μmol / l Magnification
    Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) 0.7 μmol / L (up to 40 U / L) Magnification

    The form for the results of a biochemical blood test contains a list of indicators (this can also be their abbreviations in Russian and / or Latin letters), data obtained during the study of the patient's blood and reference values, i.e. standards for comparison. Deviations from the norm do not always mean pathology, they can also be caused by physiological processes (for example, pregnancy or dietary habits).

    Preparation for a biochemical blood test in adults

    Blood for biochemical analysis must be taken in the morning on an empty stomach, after the last meal, 8-12 hours should pass. If there is a need to take medications, this should be done after blood collection. On the eve of the study, fatty, fried foods, alcoholic beverages are excluded from the diet, and exercise is limited. Do not smoke before the examination, it is not recommended to donate blood immediately after X-ray examination and physiotherapy procedures. For half an hour before the study, the patient should be in a state of complete rest.

    Proper preparation for biochemical testing will reduce the risk of falsely high or low test results.

    Norms of biochemical blood analysis in adults

    Normal values of indicators of biochemical blood analysis are presented in the table. Norms may differ from laboratory to laboratory, depending on the methods and units used.

    Deciphering a biochemical blood test in adults

    Index Reference values
    Total protein 65–85 g / l
    Glucose 4.0-6.0 mmol / L
    Total cholesterol 3.5-6.5 mmol / L
    Total bilirubin 3.4–20.5 μmol / L
    Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)

    Men - up to 41 U / l

    Women - up to 31 U / l

    Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)

    Men - up to 47 U / l

    Women - up to 31 U / l

    Gamma Glutamyl Transferase (GGT)

    Men - up to 49 U / l

    Women - up to 32 U / l

    Alkaline phosphatase 40-150 U / l
    Urea 2.5-8.3 mmol / L


    Men - 62-115 μmol / l

    Women - 53–97 μmol / l

    Alpha amylase 25–125 U / l
    Lactate dehydrogenase Up to 250 U / l
    Calcium 2.15-2.5 mmol / l

    Men - 10.7-28.6 μmol / L

    Women - 7.2-25.9 μmol / L

    Magnesium 0.65-1.05 mmol / l

    Decoding of indicators of biochemical blood test in adults

    Total protein

    Total protein is the main element of protein metabolism in the human body. This indicator reflects the total content of albumin and globulins in the blood serum.

    An increase in the concentration of total protein is noted during dehydration (most often caused by diarrhea, indomitable vomiting, extensive burns), infectious processes in the body, neoplasms, and autoimmune diseases.

    A decrease in the level of total protein is observed in hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, metabolic disorders, bleeding (acute and chronic), trauma, prolonged fever, anemia, protein release from the vascular bed (formation of exudates and transudates), transfusion of blood substitutes, insufficient intake of protein with food. A low protein content, not associated with pathological processes in the body, is observed in children of the first year of life, pregnant and breastfeeding women and bedridden patients, which should be taken into account when decoding a biochemical blood test in adults.


    Glucose is the main energy substrate of the body, which is easily broken down, releasing energy necessary for the body's vital functions. Insulin is the main regulator of blood glucose levels.

    An increase in glucose concentration is observed in type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, mumps, Itsenko-Cushing's syndrome, somatostatinoma, myocardial infarction, as well as in the case of taking certain medications. Moreover, glucose rises during pregnancy. Physiological increase in glucose occurs during exercise, smoking, emotional turmoil.

    A decrease in the concentration of glucose in the blood is observed with adenoma or carcinoma of the pancreas, hypothyroidism, hypocorticism, cirrhosis, hepatitis, in premature babies and children born to women with diabetes.

    Total cholesterol

    Total cholesterol (total cholesterol) is an organic compound found in cell membranes that is essential for the body to function properly. Approximately 80% of cholesterol is produced in the liver, the rest is ingested with food. During a biochemical study, in addition to total cholesterol, high, low and very low density lipoproteins, triglycerides and atherogenic coefficient can be additionally determined.

    The content of cholesterol in the blood rises in obesity, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, cirrhosis of the liver, chronic renal failure, glomerulonephritis, pancreatitis, pancreatic neoplasms, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, gout, chronic alcoholism, and irrational nutrition in pregnant women.

    A decrease in cholesterol levels is observed with cachexia, starvation, burns, sepsis, chronic heart failure, hyperthyroidism, thalassemia, Tangier's disease, pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Total bilirubin

    Total bilirubin is the end product of the decomposition of hemoglobin, which belongs to bile pigments and is a marker of liver and biliary tract disorders. Total blood bilirubin consists of direct (bound, conjugated) and indirect (unbound, unconjugated) fractions.

    Total bilirubin combines two of its fractions - bound and unbound
    Total bilirubin combines two of its fractions - bound and unbound

    Total bilirubin combines two of its fractions - bound and unbound

    Bilirubin increases in hemolytic anemia, liver disease, cholelithiasis, pancreatic tumors, congenital hyperbilirubinemic syndromes, in the third trimester of pregnancy.

    A decrease in total bilirubin is noted with anemia (except for hemolytic), in premature babies, with a low-calorie diet or fasting.


    Alanine aminotransferase (ALT, ALT, ALT) is an enzyme of the transferase class that is involved in the metabolism of amino acids. This enzyme is found mainly in the liver, pancreas, kidneys, heart and skeletal muscles. With lesions of these organs, the permeability of cell membranes increases and the level of alanine aminotransferase in the blood increases.

    An increase in the enzyme in the blood is observed in viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver neoplasms, pancreatitis, alcoholism, myocardial infarction, heart failure, myocarditis, extensive burns, trauma, in a state of shock, as well as when taking sulfonamides, antibiotics, immunosuppressants, antineoplastic agents, drugs for general anesthesia.

    A decrease in ALT levels can be observed with a deficiency of vitamin B 6 in the body or severe liver damage.


    Aspartate aminotransferase (AST, AST, AST) is an enzyme from the class of transaminases that catalyzes the mutual transformations of amino and keto acids by transferring an amino group. This enzyme is found in the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, heart muscle, brain tissues, skeletal muscles. The most pronounced changes in the content of AST are observed with myocardial damage and liver pathologies.

    An increase in the level of the enzyme is observed in myocardial infarction, pulmonary thrombosis, acute hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, tumor metastases in the liver, liver trauma, sepsis, acute rheumatic heart disease, infectious mononucleosis, chronic alcoholism.

    Decreased AST may be a sign of necrotic liver damage, rupture, or vitamin B 6 deficiency. It also occurs in hemodialysis patients as well as in pregnant women.


    Gamma-glutamyltransferase (gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase, GGT, GGT) is an enzyme involved in the exchange of amino acids, which accumulates mainly in the kidneys, liver, and pancreas. In children under six months of age, the normal values of this indicator exceed those in adults by 2-4 times.

    The concentration of the enzyme increases with viral hepatitis, toxic liver damage, gallstone disease, acute and chronic pancreatitis, neoplasms of the liver, pancreas, prostate, exacerbation of chronic pyelo- and glomerulonephritis.

    When deciphering a biochemical blood test in adults, a decrease in the level of gamma-glutamyl transferase is usually not taken into account, since it is not a sign of any pathological processes.

    Alkaline phosphatase

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP, ALP) is an enzyme that is found mainly in the liver and bones (also in the placenta) and takes part in the breakdown of phosphoric acid and the transport of phosphorus in the body.

    The concentration of alkaline phosphatase increases with bone pathologies (including fractures), hyperparathyroidism, cirrhosis, tumor metastases in the liver, hepatitis, tuberculosis, helminthic invasions, as well as during pregnancy and in premature infants.

    A decrease in the level of alkaline phosphatase may indicate diaphyseal aplasia, hypothyroidism, a lack of vitamin C in the body, poor nutrition, and the use of certain drugs.


    Urea is the end product of protein metabolism in the body, the main place of formation of which is the liver. A significant part of urea is excreted from the body by the kidneys by glomerular filtration.

    An increase in the concentration of urea in the blood is noted with glomerulo- and pyelonephritis, kidney tuberculosis, urolithiasis, heart failure, intestinal obstruction, prostate adenoma, diabetes mellitus (with ketoacidosis), prolonged fever, extensive burns, stress, as well as an excess of protein in the diet.

    A decrease in the level of urea occurs in hereditary forms of hyperammonemia, severe liver disease, acromegaly, overhydration, after hemodialysis, with malabsorption, following a vegetarian diet or fasting, as well as in the II-III trimester of pregnancy.


    Creatinine is the end product of the creatine-phosphate reaction, which is of no small importance in the energy metabolism of muscle and other body tissues. Normally, creatinine is filtered in the renal glomeruli and excreted in the urine without being reabsorbed. The amount of creatinine in the blood depends on its synthesis and excretion.

    Creatinine levels increase in acute and chronic kidney diseases, congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, prolonged internal bleeding, dehydration, muscle tissue pathologies, exposure to ionizing radiation, the predominance of protein products in the diet, as well as taking nephrotoxic drugs (sulfonamides, some antibiotics, barbiturates, mercury compounds, salicylates, etc.).

    The content of creatinine in the blood decreases in severe liver pathologies, overhydration, in the elderly, in pregnant women (especially in the I-II trimester). A decrease in creatinine occurs with a decrease in muscle mass and a lack of protein food in the diet, which should be taken into account when decoding a biochemical blood test in adults.

    Alpha amylase

    Alpha-amylase (amylase, α-amylase) is an enzyme that is formed mainly in the pancreas and salivary glands (enters the duodenum and oral cavity, respectively) and breaks down starch and glycogen to maltose. Alpha-amylase is excreted by the kidneys.

    An increase in the concentration of the enzyme is observed in diseases of the pancreas, diabetes mellitus, accompanied by ketoacidosis, renal failure, acute peritonitis, abdominal trauma, neoplasms of the lungs, ovary, alcohol abuse, during pregnancy.

    The level of alpha-amylase decreases in case of insufficiency of the functions of the pancreas, with cystic fibrosis, hepatitis, myocardial infarction, thyrotoxicosis, hypercholesterolemia, and it is also lowered in children of the first year of life.

    Lactate dehydrogenase

    Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH, LDH) is an enzyme that takes part in the breakdown of glucose to lactic acid. The greatest activity of the enzyme is characteristic of the heart and skeletal muscles, kidneys, lungs, liver and brain.

    An increase in the level of LDH occurs with myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, liver disease, kidney disease, acute pancreatitis, leukemia, dystrophy or muscle injuries, infectious mononucleosis, hypothyroidism, prolonged fever, shock, hypoxia, fractures, as well as taking cephalosporins, non-steroids, sulfonamides anti-inflammatory drugs.

    A decrease in lactate dehydrogenase can be observed during cytostatic chemotherapy.


    Calcium is the main mineral component of bone tissue. Approximately 99% of calcium in the human body is found in the teeth and bones, where it forms the basis and maintains strength, the rest is in soft tissues and biological fluids. Calcium takes part in the process of coagulation, transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and regulates the activity of enzymes.

    An increase in the concentration of calcium in the blood may indicate the presence of hyperparathyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, osteoporosis, adrenal insufficiency, acute renal failure, malignant neoplasms, and may also be a sign of a lack of potassium and / or an excess of vitamin D in the body. High blood calcium appears during prolonged immobilization.

    The level of calcium decreases with a lack of vitamin D, albumin and magnesium, acute pancreatitis, chronic renal failure, malignant neoplasms of the breast, lungs, prostate or thyroid gland, inappropriate nutrition, in the case of taking anticonvulsants, antineoplastic agents and during pregnancy.


    One of the most important trace elements providing oxygen transport to tissues and tissue respiration. A significant part of iron in the body is in the composition of hemoglobin and myoglobin, in addition, it is a part of some enzymes, and is also found in liver cells and macrophages in the form of hemosiderin or ferritin. An insignificant part of the iron associated with transport proteins circulates in the blood.

    The concentration of iron in the blood increases with hemochromatosis, liver and kidney disease, acute iron or lead poisoning, as well as in women in the premenstrual period. In addition, high levels of iron may be due to excess iron intake.

    Low levels of iron in the blood may be due to insufficient intake of iron in the body with food
    Low levels of iron in the blood may be due to insufficient intake of iron in the body with food

    Low levels of iron in the blood may be due to insufficient intake of iron in the body with food

    A decrease in iron content in the blood is observed in iron deficiency anemias, acute and chronic infectious diseases, neoplasms, nephrotic syndrome, and chronic liver diseases. In addition, iron is reduced in women during menstrual bleeding, pregnancy and lactation. Decreased iron content can be caused by a lack of iron intake.


    About 70% of magnesium is found in the bones, the rest is contained in muscle tissue, erythrocytes, hepatocytes, etc. Magnesium is necessary, first of all, for the normal functioning of the heart, muscles and nervous system.

    An increase in magnesium concentration occurs in renal failure, dehydration, hypothyroidism, diabetic coma, with uncontrolled intake of salicylates, lithium carbonate, magnesium preparations.

    Magnesium decreases in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, pancreas, chronic alcoholism, extensive burns, poor nutrition and in the last trimester of pregnancy. Also, a reduced level of magnesium is observed in patients on hemodialysis.

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    Anna Kozlova
    Anna Kozlova

    Anna Kozlova Medical journalist About the author

    Education: Rostov State Medical University, specialty "General Medicine".

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