What Do Those Words Mean: Diagnostic Tests and Procedures
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a specialized X-ray technique that uses powerful magnets to display the cross-sectional anatomy of both soft and bony tissue. Also called: MRI.
Mucosal bleeding time is a crude test of platelet function, vascular (blood vessel) function and von Willebrand's disease. A small, precise cut is made inside the dog's lip, and the time until a clot forms is measured. This test will help the veterinarian decide if more specific testing is indicated. Also called: MBT, bleeding time.
Mycoplasma culture is a test to determine if an infection is due to the mycoplasma organism. A sterile cotton swab is swiped in the area and the contents are placed in a culture tube.
Myelography is an X-ray of the spinal cord following the injection of a contrast medium. This can help determine tumors or trauma to the spinal cord or vertebra.
Ocular ultrasound evaluates the back segment of the eye. An ultrasound probe is placed on the eyeball using a topical anesthetic.
Oral bentiromide digestion test is used for diagnosing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. An oral bentiromide test substrate is given, and then blood samples are taken 60 to 90 minutes later.
Partial thromboplastin time is a test used to determine blood clotting abiltity (expressed in time). Also called: PTT, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT).
Pericardiocentesis is a puncture of the sac that surrounds the heart. This is done to obtain fluid for examination, or to relieve a condition called cardiac tamponade (fluid buildup around the heart).
Prothrombin time is a test used to determine how quickly blood clots. Also called: PT.
Pulse oximetry is a method to determine blood oxygen levels. Also called: pulse ox.
Radiograph is an X-ray.
Reticulocyte count is a blood test done to check for regeneration of red blood cells in anemic pets. If the bone marrow is responding to the anemia and rapidly regenerating replacement red blood cells, the reticulocyte count will be elevated. Also called: retic count.
Rose bengal is a type of stain used on the eye to detect surface defects, ulcers and erosions. It is particularly helpful in detecting dendritic ulcers associated with herpesvirus infections.
Schirmer tear test helps determine if low tear production ("dry eye") is to blame for inflammation. A small strip of calibrated filter paper is placed inside the lower eyelid and left in place for approximately 1 minute. The height to which tears "climb" this test paper is a measure of the volume of tears produced. Also called: STT, test for "dry eye".
Serology is the testing of antigen-antibody reactions in vitro. It is performed to check on several different diseases, including herpes, toxoplasmosis, etc.
Serum biochemistry profile is a blood test that evaluates 15 to 25 enzyme levels to determine general health or the presence of disease.
Skin scraping is done by gently scraping a bit of skin using a small scalpel to determine the cause of irritation. This test is most often performed to detect the presence of mites.
Slide agglutination is a test that involves taking a blood sample from the pet. A drop of blood is placed on a glass slide to determine if it "agglutinates." Positive results are suggestive of immune mediated hemolytic anemia. In cats, slide agglutinate may also indicate underlying diseases such as feline leukemia virus, hemobartonella infection or lymphoma.
Slit-lamp biomicroscopy is a test that provides a magnified view of the surface and front chamber of the eye.
Stone analysis is used to evaluate a stone removed from the urinary tract for mineral content. Also called: urolith analysis.
Thoracentesis is a procedure that consists of inserting a small needle into the chest cavity to determine if fluid is present and if so, what type. It can also therapeutically remove the fluid. Also called: chest tap.
Transtracheal wash is a procedure in which a fluid sample from the trachea is obtained. The procedure usually involves sedating the pet, clipping and scrubbing an area on the neck, and placing a sterile catheter into the neck. The catheter is then passed into the trachea and the fluid obtained. Also called: TTW.
TSH stimulation test consists of a blood sample to determine the thyroid level (T4) followed by the injection of a hormone to stimulate thyroid production. A blood sample is collected about 6 hours later for analysis.
Urinalysis is a laboratory test of urine. The test can evaluate the urine for the presence of white blood cells, red blood cells, abnormal amounts of glucose, ketones and protein. It can also determine the urine concentration.
Vaginoscopy allows for the evaluation of the vulva and vagina by introducing a scope through the external genitalia directly into the vagina to examine tumors, inflammation, etc.