A panculture is a test most commonly used in microbiology and medicine that includes a variety of different testing methods. The test is useful in identifying infections and contamination such as meningitis and neutropenia. The prefix "pan-" means "all" or "of everything" and stems from the Greek "panacea."
A standard panculture includes a full body test, including urinalysis, x-ray, sputum samples and blood cultures. However, the definition of panculture is literally the act of requesting all available samples and tests at once in order to identify an unknown infection. This has a mostly proven result, although some doctors argue that panculture testing is inadvisable with molecular testing. Doctors also drain and sample any pustules or abscesses present at the time of the culture in order to determine the cause and rule out various infections.
The test is mostly useful for patients complaining of painful neutropenia in order to rule out pneumonia and other diseases. Most doctors administer antibiotics as quickly as possible after recognizing an infection and may do so before or after obtaining samples. Antibiotics are almost always a followup to a panculture as well. This is because antibiotics can be critically lifesaving with some infections, such as meningitis.Learn More
A CEA test, also known as a carcinoembryonic antigen test, is a medical procedure during which the blood levels of the CEA protein are measured, according to WebMD. It is performed on patients who may suffer from cancer of the colon, rectum, lungs, pancreas, ovaries or breasts.Full Answer >
HCT in a blood test is hematocrit, the percentage of the blood made up of red blood cells, says MedlinePlus. Normal hematocrit results are 40.7 to 50.3 percent for males and 36.1 to 44.3 percent in females. Newborns have slightly higher levels than adults, and infants have slightly lower levels.Full Answer >
According to Medscape, RDW stands for red cell distribution width; it is a measure of the variation of red blood cell size or volume. Higher RDW means a larger variation in the sizes of red blood cells found in a sample.Full Answer >
A CMP blood test, or comprehensive metabolic panel, checks a patient's blood glucose level, kidney and liver functions, and level of electrolytes, according to WebMD. This test may be included in a yearly physical exam, or it may be used to monitor existing medical conditions.Full Answer >