Chemical Pathology Laboratory Tests in Pregnancy
Normal healthy pregnancy causes normal physiological adjustments in all the organs and systems of the body apart from the anatomical and physiological changes, which chiefly involve the genital tract and the breast of the female body. Most of these adjustments revert to normal after delivery. The physiological changes range from adjustments in electrolyte levels to more complicated adaptations in hormone metabolism and to calcium metabolism. Thus, chemical pathology laboratory investigative test results during normal healthy pregnancy show significant differences from the normal reference intervals or ranges (i.e. non-pregnant woman's reference intervals or ranges) thereby causing misinterpretation as inappropriate or odd. This wrong interpretation of the chemical pathology laboratory test results in pregnant woman may lead to unwarranted and possibly risky management or treatment interventions. It is advisable that the obstetricians should consult the chemical pathologist or laboratory physician where there is suspicion about a laboratory test result from a pregnant woman. This is to clarify if the laboratory test result reflects the physiological changes, which occurred in the course of the pregnancy. Where the test result is correct or diagnostic of a disease condition further analysis or examination and therapeutic measures may then be advised or suggested.
Keywords: Endocrine changes, kidney hepatic, thyroid function tests.