DR. G Medical SolutionsDR. G Medical SolutionsDR. G Medical Solutions

Labs/Diagnostic Testing

Labs/Diagnostic Testing

What is diagnostic testing?

Diagnostic testing includes a variety of procedures and tests that help the caring medical team determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. These tests provide valuable information that can detect, confirm, or rule out medical conditions.

What are common diagnostic tests?

Ultrasound testing- Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body including person’s abdominal and pelvic organs, musculoskeletal and vascular system and to check fetal development during pregnancy. It helps diagnose the causes of pain, swelling and infection in the body’s internal organs, and check on your un-born baby.

Ankle-brachial index (ABI)

The ankle brachial index, or ABI, is a simple test that compares the blood pressure in the upper and lower limbs. Health care providers calculate ABI by dividing the blood pressure in an artery of the ankle by the blood pressure in an artery of the arm. The result is the ABI. This is a quick and simple way to check for peripheral artery disease (PAD).

ANSAR testing

ANS testing is used to assess how the nervous system reacts to stressors. The ANS system of the body has two major divisions: the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. Many of the essential organs in the human body are controlled by these systems.

Autonomic testing helps find out if your autonomic nervous system (ANS) is working as well as it should. Your ANS controls body functions that happen automatically (without you thinking about them). These include breathing, heartbeat, body temperature, and digestion.

Nerve Conduction testing

A nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test — also called a nerve conduction study (NCS) — measures how fast an electrical impulse moves through your nerve. NCV can identify nerve damage.

During the test, your nerve is stimulated, usually with electrode patches attached to your skin. Two electrodes are placed on the skin over your nerve. One electrode stimulates your nerve with a very mild electrical impulse. The other electrode records it. The resulting electrical activity is recorded by another electrode. This is repeated for each nerve being tested.

The speed is then calculated by measuring the distance between electrodes and the time it takes for electrical impulses to travel between electrodes.

A related test that may be done is an electromyography (EMG). This measures the electrical activity in your muscles. It is often done at the same time as an NCV. Both tests help find the presence, location, and extent of diseases that damage the nerves and muscles.

Why might I need a nerve conduction velocity test?

NCV is often used along with an EMG to tell the difference between a nerve disorder and a muscle disorder. NCV detects a problem with the nerve, whereas an EMG detects whether the muscle is working properly in response to the nerve’s stimulus.

Diseases or conditions that may be checked with NCV include:

  • Guillain-Barré syndrome. A condition in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms may include weakness or a tingling sensation in the legs.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome. A condition in which the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist by enlarged tendons or ligaments. This causes pain and numbness in the fingers.
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. An inherited neurological condition that affects both the motor and sensory nerves. It causes weakness of the foot and lower leg muscles.
  • Herniated disk disease. This condition occurs when the fibrous cartilage that surrounds the disks of your vertebrae breaks down. The center of each disk, which contains a gelatinous substance, is forced outward. This places pressure on a spinal nerve and causes pain and damage to the nerve.
  • Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy and neuropathy. These are conditions resulting from diabetes or alcoholism. Symptoms may include numbness or tingling in a single nerve or many nerves at the same time.
  • Sciatic nerve problems. There are many causes of sciatic nerve problems. The most common is a bulging or ruptured spinal disk that presses against the roots of the nerve leading to the sciatic nerve. Pain, tingling, or numbness often result.

Nerve conduction studies may also be done to find the cause of symptoms, such as numbness, tingling, and continuous pain.

Other conditions may prompt your healthcare provider to recommend NCV.