Lab test Glossary P

Lab Test Glossary P

Pancreatic Islet Cell IG Antibody: Type 1 (”juvenile”) diabetes mellitus is most likely an autoimmune disease in which the body?s own antibodies have destroyed the insulin-producing islet cells of the pancreas. This produces a deficiency of insulin, which normally regulates glucose levels in the blood. Autoantibodies against various pancreatic islet cell antigens are present in more than 80% of type 1 diabetes patients and predict the development of this disease, particularly if high, persistent titers are present and the patient is young. Pancreatic islet cell antibodies are also present in some patients with autoimmune disorders.
Parainfluenza type 1 IGM Antibody: Parainfluenza viruses typically cause respiratory infections. The presence of antibodies against a parainfluenza virus indicates recent exposure or infection. Parainfluenza viruses are categorized into types 1, 2, 3, and 4, of which types 1, 2, and 3 are most common. Types 1 and 2 can cause epidemic laryngotracheobronchitis (croup), and sometimes colds, pharyngitis and tracheobronchitis, in children during the fall. Localized outbreaks may occur in nurseries, schools, pediatric wards, and similar settings. Re-infection generally causes mild upper respiratory illnesses and may be asymptomatic in adults.
Parainfluenza type 2 IGM Antibody: Parainfluenza viruses typically cause respiratory infections. The presence of antibodies against a parainfluenza virus indicates recent exposure or infection. Parainfluenza viruses are categorized into types 1, 2, 3, and 4, of which types 1, 2, and 3 are most common. Types 1 and 2 can cause epidemic laryngotracheobronchitis (croup), and sometimes colds, pharyngitis and tracheobronchitis, in children during the fall. Localized outbreaks may occur in nurseries, schools, pediatric wards, and similar settings. Re-infection generally causes mild upper respiratory illnesses and may be asymptomatic in adults.
Parainfluenza type 3 IGM Antibody: Parainfluenza viruses typically cause respiratory infections. The presence of antibodies against a parainfluenza virus indicates recent exposure or infection. Parainfluenza viruses are categorized into types 1, 2, 3, and 4, of which types 1, 2, and 3 are most common. Types 1 and 2 can cause epidemic laryngotracheobronchitis (croup), and sometimes colds, pharyngitis and tracheobronchitis, in children during the fall. Localized outbreaks may occur in nurseries, schools, pediatric wards, and similar settings. Re-infection generally causes mild upper respiratory illnesses and may be asymptomatic in adults.
Parathyroid Hormone (PTH): Parathyroid hormone (PTH) is made in the parathyroid tissues near the thyroid gland in the neck. PTH regulates calcium levels in the body. High PTH levels may be associated with kidney failure, hypomagnesemia, and gastrointestinal malabsorption, while low levels may occur in adrenal insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, and parathyroid malignancies.
Phosphorus (P): Phosphorus (P) is an element found throughout the body. Most of the body’s phosphorus is bound to calcium in the bones, but about 15% exists in the blood and other soft tissues. Phosphorus is very important in metabolism. High levels of phosphorus have been observed in bone metastasis, hypocalcemia, hypoparathyroidism, liver disease, Addison’s disease, hypervitaminosis D, magnesium deficiency, and renal failure. Low levels of phosphorus may occur in rickets, diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperparathyroidism, hyperinsulinism, hypercalcemia, vitamin D deficiency, and in patients taking certain medications.
Plasminogen Activator inhibitor type 1 (PAi-1): Plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) blocks the activity of tissue plasminogen activator, which is the key enzyme involved in the breakdown of blood clots. Elevated levels of PAI-1 are associated with increased clotting and an increased risk of heart attack. Elevated levels have also been observed in people with deep vein thrombosis, as well as in normal pregnancy and sepsis.
Platelet Count: Platelets are a type of blood cell involved in the blood clotting process. When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets clump together and help to initiate clotting. Low platelet levels can be seen with hemorrhage, hypersplenism, leukemia and cancer chemotherapy, infection, disseminated intravascular coagulation and systemic lupus erythematosus. Increased platelet counts can be seen with some cancers, iron deficiency anemia, rheumatoid arthritis and postsplenectomy syndrome.
PM-1IG Antibody: Polymyositis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the connective tissues. The presence of PM-1 antibodies suggests polymyositis, although levels of this antibody may also be elevated in other autoimmune diseases. About 60% of people with myositis have antibodies to either PM-1 or JO-1, although the relationship between these autoantibodies and the disease process remains unclear. Myositis may appear at any age but occurs most commonly between ages 5 and 15 and between ages 40 and 60.
Polio IG Antibody: Polio is an epidemic infection that affects the brain and spinal cord. It has been eliminated in much of the world through universal vaccination. This test may determine whether an individual has been vaccinated against or infected with the virus that causes polio.
Potassium (K): Potassium (K) is an electrolyte whose levels are tightly controlled throughout the body. Potassium plays an important role in the electrical conduction in nerve, muscle and heart tissues. High levels can be caused by hypoaldosteronism, diabetes, interstitial nephritis, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, acidosis, dialysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, the use of potassium-sparing diuretics and some other medications. Low levels may be caused by vomiting, diarrhea, acute leukemia, metabolic acidosis or alkalosis and some medications.
Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein A (PAPP-A): Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) is an enzyme first identified in the blood of pregnant women. Unusually low levels during the first trimester of pregnancy indicate an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction, trisomy 21, premature delivery, preeclampsia and stillbirth. PAPP-A levels can also predict the likelihood of a heart attack in patients experiencing acute chest pain due to coronary artery disease.
Progesterone: Progesterone is an important female sex hormone. Progesterone levels are normally elevated during the reproductive period of a woman?s life and become lower during menopause. Progesterone is produced by the corpus luteum in the ovaries and is necessary for proper uterine and breast development and function. Its levels are low during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle and high during the luteal phase. Levels continue to rise during early pregnancy. High progesterone levels suggest pregnancy, ovarian cancer, or adrenal cancer, while low levels may occur in amenorrhea (lack of menstruation), fetal death, and toxemia of pregnancy.
Prolactin: Prolactin is a hormone that is made in the pituitary gland and helps to initiate and maintain milk production in women. Its levels are naturally high while breast-feeding, but high levels at other times may indicate disease. High levels may be caused by pituitary tumors, hypothalamic disease, chronic renal failure, multiple sclerosis, hypothyroidism, ectopic tumors, breast trauma and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Prolactin levels are useful in the evaluation of pituitary tumors and their treatment, as well as the assessment of hypothalmic abnormalities, infertility, amenorrhea, and galactorrhea (inappropriate breast milk secretion).
Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen IG Antibody (PCNA AB): Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is an important enzyme in the synthesis and repair of DNA. In people with systemic lupus erythematosus, antibodies to PCNA are associated with kidney damage, nervous system damage and low platelet counts. PCNA antibodies have also been found in people with chronic hepatitis B or C infection.
Prostate-Specific Antigen, Free (PSA, free): Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is highly specific for prostate tissue, and its levels may be increased in prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). Mild to moderately increased concentrations of PSA may be seen in those of African American heritage, and levels tend to increase in all men as they age. Also, because many people with prostate cancer have normal PSA levels, diagnosis involves other modalities including biopsy. PSA is present in a free (not bound) form and a complexed (bound to a protein) form in the blood. Patients with prostate cancer may have decreased amounts of free PSA and incre ased amounts of complexed PSA.
Prostate-Specific Antigen, total (PSA, total): Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is highly specific for prostate tissue, and its levels may be increased in prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). Mild to moderately increased concentrations of PSA may be seen in those of African American heritage, and levels tend to increase in all men as they age. Also, because many people with prostate cancer have normal PSA levels, diagnosis involves other modalities including biopsy. PSA is present in a free (not bound) form and a complexed (bound to a protein) form in the blood. Patients with prostate cancer may have decreased amounts of free PSA and increased amounts of complexed PSA.
Prostatic Acid Phosphatase (PAP): Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) is found primarily (but not solely) in the prostate gland and the semen. PAP levels may be abnormal in a number of conditions, including prostate cancer, Paget’s disease, anemia, infection, thrombophlebitis, hyperparathyroidism, myocardial infarction, and multiple myeloma. PAP levels may be used in the staging of prostate carcinoma, the diagnosis of metastatic adenocarcinoma of the prostate, and the monitoring of prostate cancer therapy.
Proteinase 3 ig Antibody (PR3 AB): The presence of antibodies against the proteinase 3 enzyme (which is produced by white blood cells in patients with certain autoimmune diseases) appears to be associated with autoimmune conditions such as Wegener’s granulomatosis (a vascular disease affecting the small to medium blood vessels of the respiratory tract and kidneys). Levels of these antibodies can be used to monitor the activity of these diseases.
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