Laboratory Investigations or Test For Dengue Fever

Laboratory investigations are essential for diagnosing dengue fever. Some of the common tests and investigations used for diagnosing dengue fever include:

  1. Complete Blood Count (CBC): A CBC can show changes in white blood cell and platelet counts, which can be characteristic of dengue fever. Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) is a common finding in dengue-infected individuals.Decrease in hematocrit, hemoglobin, and red blood cell (RBC) count (evidence of anemia) that would occur with blood loss associated with severe dengue fever.
  2. Dengue Virus Antigen Tests:
    • NS1 Antigen Test: This test detects the presence of the dengue virus NS1 antigen in the blood. It is typically positive during the acute phase of the infection and can be performed within the first few days of symptoms.
  3. Dengue Virus RNA Detection:
    • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test: PCR can detect the genetic material (RNA) of the dengue virus in the blood. It is a highly specific test and can identify the virus even in the early stages of infection.
  4. Serology Tests:
    • IgM Antibody Test: This test detects the presence of IgM antibodies produced by the body in response to a recent dengue virus infection. IgM antibodies are typically detectable a few days after the onset of symptoms and can remain positive for several weeks.
    • IgG Antibody Test: IgG antibodies are produced later in the course of the infection and can provide evidence of past dengue virus exposure. A rising IgG titer in paired samples may indicate an acute infection.
  5. Liver Function Tests: Dengue fever can affect liver function, so tests such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) may be performed to assess liver health.
  6. Coagulation Profile: Dengue can sometimes lead to abnormal clotting, so tests like prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) may be monitored.
  7. Urine Tests: Urinalysis may be performed to check for signs of kidney involvement, which can occur in severe cases.

It’s important to note that the combination of these tests, along with clinical evaluation and a patient’s symptoms, helps in the accurate diagnosis of dengue fever. Early detection is crucial for proper management and monitoring of the disease, as severe cases may require hospitalization and supportive care. If you suspect you have dengue fever or have been exposed to the virus, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and testing.

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