Lab Test Glossary V

Lab Test Glossary V

Varicella Zoster IGG Antibody (v. zoster igg Ab): Varicella zoster virus is the infectious agent that causes chicken pox and shingles. The presence of IGG antibodies against V. zoster virus indicates prior exposure to this virus.
Varicella Zoster iGM Antibody (v. zoster igM Ab): Varicella zoster virus is the infectious agent that cases chickenpox and shingles. The presence of IgM antibodies against V. zoster virus indicates recent exposure, infection or flare up with this virus.
Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (VCAM-1): Vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) helps in the adhesion of various white blood cells, including lymphocytes, monocytes, natural killer cells, eosinophils, and basophils. VCAM-1 interacts with a specific antigen which results in the adherence white blood cells to the endothelium (inside lining of blood vessel walls). Research indicates that high levels of VCAM-1 reflect the “stickyness” of the endothelium. This “stickyness” in turn allows cholesterol and other blood products to adhere to the vascular wall, thus leading to plaque formation. Elevated levels of VCAM-1 may be an independent risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Levels of VCAM-1 may also be elevated in other inflammatory conditions.
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF): Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a substance that stimulates new blood vessel formation, a process called angiogenesis. Both normal and abnormal (including cancer cells) cells that are not receiving enough oxygen may release VEGF in a biological response aimed at growing more blood vessels in order to increase the oxygen supply. VEGF is also released in rheumatoid arthritis by increasing permeability in small blood vessels, thus resulting in swelling. Elevated levels of this particular biomarker can be commonly observed in individuals with healing wounds, inflammatory conditions, and cancer.
Vitamin b12 (Also called cobalamin): Vitamin B12 is important for metabolism, the formation of the red blood cells, and the maintenance of the central nervous system. A deficiency in vitamin B12 may occur as a result of an inability to absorb the vitamin from food. It can also occur in strict vegetarians who do not consume any animal foods. Some individuals who develop a vitamin B12 deficiency have an underlying stomach or intestinal disorder that limits the absorption of vitamin B12. Although most people who possess a decreased amount of this vitamin do not demonstrate any symptoms, vitamin B12 deficiency represents a health concern because of the adverse conditions it has the potential to cause.
Von Willebrand Factor (vWF): The von Willebrand factor (vWF) is found in plasma, platelets, and the walls of blood vessels. When blood vessels are damaged, platelets normally clump at the site of the injury. vWF acts as glue to help the platelets clump. vWF also functions as a carrier protein for factor VIII (another protein that helps blood to clot). It protects factor VIII from degradation and delivers it to the site of injury. Low levels of vWF can be seen in people with von Willebrand?s disease, the most common, inherited bleeding disorder, affecting about 1% of the general population. Most people with von Willebrand?s disease either have no history of abnormal bleeding or a history of slightly increased bleeding, such as nose bleeds or increased bleeding after a tooth extraction. For women not taking birth control pills, heavy menstrual bleeding is the most common symptom. Other lab tests are available to determine whether or not an individual is afflicted with von Willebrand?s disease.
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