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Samples

Blood samples

As a precaution, it is always preferable to attend in a fasting state, to the extent this is feasible. A distinction can be made, however, between :

The tests for which a fasting state is imperative (fasting for 12 hours before the examination, from the night before; you may drink water, or a coffee or tea without sugar and without milk) :

  • Blood glucose
  • Calcium;
  • Phosphorus;
  • Lipid profile (Cholesterol, Triglycerides);
  • Uric acid;
  • Insulin.

The tests for which a fasting state is preferable :

  • Haemogram (CBC);
  • SR (Sedimentation rate);
  • CRP;
  • Urea, Creatinine;
  • Iron;
  • Liver and heart enzymes (ASAT. ALAT, gamma-GT, alkaline phosphatase, CPK);
  • PT, INR, APTT, BT, Fibrinogen;
  • Serum Protein Electrophoresis.

The tests for which a fasting state is not required :

  • Serology (Wasserman Reaction; Toxoplasmosis; Rubella; Hepatitis A, B and C; HIV);
  • Tumour markers (PSA, ACE, CA 15-3).

Tests requiring special conditions :

  • Postprandial blood glucose : Fasting state for 12 hours then you should return to the laboratory 1 hour 30 minutes after the end of breakfast or lunch.
  • Oral glucose challenge test or O’Sullivan test : Plan to remain in the medical laboratory for 1 hour.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test or OGTT : Plan to remain in the medical laboratory for 3 hours.
  • Prolactin : Arrive in a fasting state, plan to undergo the examination between 8 AM and 10 AM; you will need to be lying down calmly in a resting state for 20 minutes before the sample is taken.
  • Cortisol : You should comply with the prescribed time: normally between 8 AM and 9 AM.
  • PT, INR : Always arrive at the same time.

Other samples

  • Urea breath test or Helikit: The patient must acquire the product to be ingested beforehand (pharmacy). Arrive in a fasting state, plan to wait half an hour between the times the 2 samples are taken.

  • 24 hour urine sample: Ask the medical laboratory for 1 or 2 bottles to collect the urine. Start one morning when you wake up (e.g.: 8 AM); urinate and dispose of the urine; note down the time: this is the beginning of the 24 hour period. From this point onwards, urinate into the bottle or decant without any loss of urine, collect all the urine from that day and overnight until the following day at the time noted down the day before, hermetically seal the bottle and return it to the medical laboratory as soon as possible.

  • Addis count: Outside the menstruation period. Ask the medical laboratory for a bottle.

    In the morning, 3 hours before the time you normally wake up, urinate fully into the toilet, note down the time and drink a large glass of water (roughly 250 mL).

    Go back to bed and after 3 hours, urinate fully into the bottle (if you need to urinate before then, collect your urine each time in the bottle). Hermetically seal the bottle and return it to the medical laboratory as soon as possible.

  • Cervical/vaginal smear: Outside the menstruation period.

    Avoid vaginal douches on the day the smear is taken.

    No antibiotic or ovule treatment 8 days beforehand (except if explicitly indicated by the prescriber).

  • Urethral smear: Do not urinate 1 hour 30 minutes before the sample is taken.

    No antibiotic treatment 8 days beforehand (except if explicitly indicated by the prescriber).

  • Urine microscopy and culture: Preferably taken from when you first urinate in the morning except in emergency cases.

    It is possible to perform this in the laboratory or at home. If you wish to perform it at home, please ask for a sterile bottle at the laboratory.

    After carefully disinfecting the external genital organs with the antiseptic compress provided, urinate the first millilitres of urine into the toilet, then collect the urine ‘mid-stream’ in the sterile bottle.

    Return it to the laboratory as soon as possible. May be stored in a refrigerator for a period of less than 3 hours.

  • Fungal samples: No antifungal treatments should be used for 8 days before the sample is taken.

    No nail varnish, no foot cream.

  • Scotch tape test (for pinworm eggs): Use a piece of clear adhesive tape with a glossy finish (not matte-finish).

    Apply the adhesive side to the anal area.

    Remove the adhesive tape and stick it back onto a glass microscope slide provided by the laboratory.

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