Veterinary Clinical Pathology Laboratory

Serum Biochemistry

Serum biochemistry refers to the chemical analysis of blood serum. A profile of tests can be combined to evaluate renal function, electrolyte metabolism, serum proteins, digestion, injury, lipids, pancreatic function, and the liver. Specialized chemistry testing can also be undertaken to assess thyroid glands and liver function.

In veterinary clinical pathology, serum biochemistry testing presents the challenges of species differences and low volume samples. Automated analyzers for veterinary use have been implemented to provide a precision to sample analysis. Two of these types of analyzers are important tools used in the laboratory of the Division of Comparative Pathology. Preset biochemistry panels are available for use and custom panels can be tailored for the best use in your research project.

Available tests with their specificity in mammalian species include:

  • Renal function – blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine
  • Electrolytes – chloride, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium
  • Liver – alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), total and direct bilirubin, albumin
  • Pancreas – amylase, lipase, glucose
  • Serum proteins – total protein, albumin, globulin; alpha, beta and gamma globulins via protein electrophoresis
  • Injury – creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)
  • Lipids – cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)