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PSA test Alternative Names: Prostate Specific Antigen Testing for PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is performed routinely to pick up any abnormalities of the prostate gland as early as possible. PSA is a protein (antigen) that is released from the cells of the prostate gland; greater amounts than...

Pleural biopsy Alternative Names: Pleural needle biopsy In a pleural, or needle, biopsy a tissue sample is taken from the membrane between the lungs and the inside surface of the ribs (the pleura). This test is done in suspected cases of TB (tuberculosis), infections of the pleura...

PAP smear Alternative Names: Papanicolaou test A PAP (Papanicolaou) smear is an examination, under a microscope, of cells taken from the cervix (opening of the uterus or womb) to make sure that these cells are not abnormal or cancerous. Once the doctor has scraped some cells from...

Ophthalmoscopy Alternative Names: Fundoscopy Ophthalmoscopy, or fundoscopy, examines the eye and retina (light sensitive layer at the back of the eye), using a special torch-like instrument (ophthalmoscope). This useful and simple test is part of routine eye examinations. It is especially important for diabetics, people with high...

Nerve Conduction Test Alternative Names: Nerve conduction velocity A nerve conduction test, which measures the speed at which impulses are transmitted along nerves, is done in cases of muscle weakness and when nerve damage is suspected. Damage can be caused by diabetic or alcoholic neuropathy, carpal tunnel...

Muscle biopsy During a muscle biopsy, a small tissue sample from a muscle is removed so that it can be examined and analysed in a laboratory. It is commonly done in cases where the cause of muscle weakness is unknown, suspected muscular dystrophy, and where certain...

MRI scan - Lumbar spine Alternative Names: Magnetic resonance imaging scan An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the lower (lumbar) spine uses, not X-rays, but strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of structural problems and abnormalities associated with the lower spine, spinal...

MRI scan - head Alternative Names: Magnetic resonance imaging scan An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the head uses, not X-rays, but strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of structural problems and abnormalities in the skull, brain, and other nearby structures (e.g....

MRI scan - Cervical spine Alternative Names: Magnetic resonance imaging scan An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the cervical (neck) spine uses strong magnetic fields to create detailed images of structural problems and abnormalities associated with the cervical spine, spinal cord, and nerve roots in the...

MRI scan - Abdomen Alternative Names: Magnetic resonance imaging scan An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the abdomen uses, not X-rays, but strong magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of structural problems and abnormalities. Common problems include abdominal pain, masses or swellings, loss...

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