Clinical biochemistry studies the chemical composition of biological fluids and cells in living organisms. Clinical biochemistry diagnoses diseases and monitors medications or therapeutic effects.
It also determines if a person has any medical conditions that are not yet apparent. Clinical biochemistry also plays a vital role in drug development by testing the safety and effectiveness of new medications.
- Clinical Microbiology and Serology
Clinical microbiology and serology are fields of study that focus on the study of microorganisms. Clinical microbiology uses these organisms to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. Serology is a field of study that uses antibodies and antigens as tools to identify specific organisms.
Clinical Pathology is the specialised field of medical science that evaluates body fluids such as blood, urine, and tissues to establish the presence, level, or absence of disease. Doctors use evaluations to diagnose and treat.
Cytopathology studies cells and observes differences from normal cells. The differences can be due to cancerous growths or other changes in the cell structure. It can also examine cells for signs of infection or inflammation, which may not appear on X-rays or other imaging tests. Cytopathology is often used with other tests, such as blood work and biopsies, to determine whether or not a patient has a disease or condition.
Haematology is the study of blood and its disorders. It includes all aspects of the blood, including its structure, function, clotting and diseases.
Haematological conditions include anaemia, infections such as HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease and malaria, cancerous tumours arising in the bone marrow, and many other conditions that affect the blood or blood cells.
Histopathology is the scientific study of diseases, using microscopy to examine tissue samples. Histopathology enables research and medical diagnosis of live and deceased organisms by finding abnormalities in tissue structures.
Molecular biology studies genes and how the proteins these genes produce interact, including the replication of DNA and RNA molecules. Molecular biologists are interested in the biological molecules that make up living organisms and their structure and function. They also study how organisms interact with their environment.
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2D ECHO is a medical imaging technique that uses ultrasound waves to measure blood flow through the heart and surrounding vessels. It provides two-dimensional images of the heart's chambers, valves, and major blood vessels.
2D ECHO is typically used to detect cardiac abnormalities such as valvular disease (including mitral valve prolapse), coronary artery disease, and congenital heart defects. It may also identify other conditions affecting blood flow through the heart.
Bone densitometry is a method of measuring bone mineral density. It uses X-ray technology to determine bone minerals, which can predict future fracture risk. The test helps patients with known osteoporosis or those at risk for developing it.
The procedure for bone densitometry involves taking X-rays of the wrist and heel bones, analysed by software to determine the bone mineral density (BMD).
CT (computed tomography) scan is a non-invasive medical imaging technique used to produce cross-sectional images of the body.
As the patient lies on a table or bed that moves through the scanner, rotating around them. At the same time, they remain stationary, allowing many different directions of the X-ray beam to produce a series of images. A computer then processes these images into a single composite image of the body's internal structure.
- Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA)
Digital subtraction angiography (DSA) is a non-invasive diagnostic procedure that allows doctors to view the blood flow in the brain and any blockages in the arteries.
A special dye (contrast agent) injected into the patient's bloodstream travels through the body and gets absorbed by cells in the brain. The doctor uses multiple scans to find an obstruction using the contrast agent that shows up as brightly red on the scans.
An electroencephalogram (EEG) measures the brain's electrical activity. It involves placing electrodes on the scalp of the patient, which then picks up signals from the brain. These signals are then amplified and recorded by a machine.
The EEG detects epileptic seizures, diagnoses sleep disorders and evaluates brain damage. It also studies how drugs affect the brain's electrical activity and looks for signs of tumours or inflammation on its surface.
- Electromyography (EMG)/ Electrophysiology (EP)
Electromyography (EMG) measures electrical activity produced by muscle cells.
When a muscle cell contracts, it generates an electrical current. This current can be detected using electrodes on the skin over the muscle.
Electrophysiology (EP) is a branch of physiology that studies the electrical properties of biological cells. EP concerns how cells generate, propagate, and respond to electrical impulses.
A Gamma Camera is a device that visualises radiation in the body. It uses a scintillator, a material that emits light when struck by high-energy particles, such as gamma rays. A gamma camera has several detectors around a patient's body. These detectors measure the intensity of the light they receive and then convert it into an image viewed on a computer screen.
The most common use for gamma cameras is in diagnosing cancer. They also determine if surgery or radiation therapy can be avoided by identifying tumours early enough for effective treatment before they spread throughout the body.
Holter Monitoring detects abnormal heart rhythms. It involves wearing a portable ECG monitor for 24 hours, which records the heart's electrical activity throughout its usage.
Holter monitoring can help diagnose an arrhythmia, a disturbance in the heart's normal rhythm. The most common arrhythmias are missing slow or fast heartbeats.
Mammography is a procedure in which breast X-rays evaluate the tissue for signs of disease. Mammography can detect cancers in their earliest stages when they are most treatable. The procedure involves an X-ray machine that takes pictures of the breast with compressed air or a low-dose X-ray system.
An MRI scan is a medical imaging technique to create human body images. It works by using strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of organs and soft tissue in the body.
The MRI scanner conducts various diagnostic procedures, including detecting tumours, identifying bone fractures, assessing brain injuries and diseases, and identifying damage to internal organs.
The PET CT scan is a new imaging technology that combines the benefits of a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan with those of a Computed Tomography (CT) Scan. A PET scan evaluates the activity of organs or tissues, while CT scans provide detailed images of the body's internal structures. The PET CT scan allows doctors to assess the function of organs and tissues using functional imaging techniques.
Spirometry assesses lung function, precisely the rate and volume of a person's breathing. It measures air volume one can inhale and exhale in one second and the amount of air held for one second.
Spirometry diagnoses respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Treadmill Testing, or TMT, evaluates the patient's capacity to perform an exercise at a given intensity. This test evaluates whether the patient has adequate aerobic fitness for cardiac rehabilitation or other cardiovascular programs.
The doctor will first use an electrocardiogram (ECG) to determine whether any underlying conditions affect the patient's ability to be tested. After this initial step, they will complete a baseline physical exam and blood work before starting the treadmill test.
During the test, the doctor will monitor vital signs and blood pressure while walking or running on a treadmill until they reach 85% of their maximum heart rate (HR).
Ultrasound is non-invasive imaging that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce an image—Doctors use ultrasound during pregnancy, postnatal care, and other medical purposes. Ultrasound looks at internal organs, blood vessels and tissues, and the fetus in the womb.
The waves produced by ultrasound are called "echoes." When these waves reach an object, they bounce back from it in different directions and speeds depending on how dense it is. A transducer picks the returning echoes and converts them into electrical signals displayed on a monitor or recorded onto film for later viewing.
Urodynamic Studies are tests that help the doctor figure out what is causing incontinence or problems like urine retention. They check for bladder dysfunction and reveal problems with the kidneys and other organs in the urinary tract.
Urodynamic studies use two types of equipment: a catheter and a pressure sensor. The catheter travels up into the bladder via the urethra.
An X-ray is electromagnetic radiation that can pass through soft tissues but stops at objects like bones and metals. The name "X-ray" comes from the characteristic kinks in the waves of the electromagnetic spectrum that make up X-rays.
An X-ray machine uses high-energy electrons to accelerate between two metal plates causing them to emit photons. When this radiation passes through the patient's body, it produces an image on a photographic plate.
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