Each diagnostic study is conducted with a specific purpose, has its own advantages and a certain range of action.
They help to study the structure and shape of an organ, its size and location in relation to other organs and tissues. At the same time, possible violations in the operation of the systems remain “behind the scenes” in the literal sense of the word.
BIOCHEMICAL STUDY OF BLOOD
Gives information about the activities of the liver, kidneys, endocrine glands, metabolic state, but not about infectious diseases. In order to detect an infection in the body, doctors prescribe other tests to patients, according to which, alas, it is impossible to get an idea of how disturbed the work of the diseased organ is.
That is why, in order to create a complete picture of what is happening in the body, doctors resort to using several methods at once.
INVASIVE PROCEDURES (let’s call them aggressive)
These are unpleasant medical procedures for a child, such as, for example, taking blood from a vein, swallowing an endoscopic tube, or procedures that carry a certain risk to the patient. We are talking about studies performed under anesthesia (for example, bronchoscopy), examinations using a contrast agent (excretory urography, cystography, angiography) or provocative tests, the purpose of which is to intensify the disease and make its symptoms more obvious.
NON-INVASIVE METHODS (i.e. non-aggressive)
These include ultrasound, urine and feces, ECG (electrocardiography), EEG (electroencephalography), x-ray without a contrast agent (if not done very often), complete blood count, which is taken from the finger. Usually, doctors seek to get maximum information, prescribing non-invasive tests for babies, and only resort to other methods when necessary.
General blood or urine tests are the most universal procedures that a doctor of any specialty may need. A general blood test will provide the doctor with information about the level of hemoglobin and red blood cells (a decrease in these indicators may suggest an idea of hidden bleeding or iron deficiency – anemia, and sometimes indicates a lack of vitamins or a hematopoietic system disease). The level of leukocytes and ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) show that there is inflammation in the body.
An increase in the number of eosinophils may indicate the appearance of worms or allergies. And the results of the general analysis of urine make it possible to judge the state of the urinary tract: the diagnosis depends on the number of leukocytes – pyelonephritis (inflammation of the kidneys), cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) or urethritis (inflammation of the urinary canal).
ATTENTION! In very young children, some indicators differ from the norms provided for adults, who usually print on letterhead.
So, for babies who are not yet a year old, the hemoglobin level should be at least 100 g / l, and in the form there is a number of 130 g / l.
Ultrasound is the most accessible and informative method of examination of the gastrointestinal tract (ultrasound of the abdominal organs), kidney (or retroperitoneal space), internal female genital organs (uterus and appendages), brain structures (neurosonography), heart (echocardiography), joints. Using ultrasound, you can determine the size of the abdominal organs (liver, gallbladder, pancreas), find signs of gastritis and gastroduodenitis, study the ability of the gallbladder to contract.
Analysis of feces for dysbiosis. This study is considered important because the state of the intestinal microflora is one of the indicators of the normal functioning of the digestive system.
Plus, the analysis allows to detect some signs of inflammation in the intestines.
Coprology – feces analysis, due to which it is seen how the process of food digestion (proteins, fats, fiber) takes place, whether there is inflammation in the intestine, and in the contents of the pot – impurities (blood, mucus or greenery).
Analysis of feces for carbohydrates. This study allows us to understand how the process of assimilation of carbohydrates – glucose, lactose, starch, galactose – occurs in the intestine.
ATTENTION! A normal indicator for very young children is 0.25%. But do not forget that this value is not the upper limit of the norm, and the average.
In most healthy babies, the percentage of carbohydrates is increased to one. This is explained by the fact that the systems that produce enzymes are not yet fully matured.
The analysis of feces on the eggs of worms and protozoa, scraping on enterobiosis. The purpose of these studies is to detect parasites that may be in the intestines of a child.
The appearance of worms or protozoa (lamblia) can disrupt the gastrointestinal tract, cause allergies or weaken the immune system.
ATTENTION! The results of these analyzes are rarely reliable.
And even if the research is carried out several times, it almost does not increase the likelihood of detecting worms. In order to find parasites, doctors should use other methods of diagnosis. First of all, you need to understand what the probability of their appearance in the baby, and then try to find manifestations of this condition and study the results of other studies.
Thus, an increase in the number of eosinophils in the general analysis of blood or a decrease in the number of Escherichia coli in the analysis for dysbacteriosis suggests a suspected appearance of worms.
Blood chemistry. Indicators such as ALT, AST, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, cholesterol, give the doctor information about the liver, and other parameters, such as serum iron, protein, electrolytes, help detect diseases such as anemia or diabetes.
X-ray studies: overview, contrast study, iriography, fluorography. Survey radiography of the intestine allows you to see gas accumulations, some tumors and stones, objects that accidentally entered the intestines.
A study with a contrast agent (barium oxide) shows the permeability of different parts of the gastrointestinal tract, starting from the esophagus and ending with the rectum (during this procedure, you can see tumors or ulcers of the intestine). Other types of X-rays allow you to determine pneumonia, sinusitis, adenoids, bone fractures, dislocations, malformations of the urinary system, suspected tuberculosis, hemorrhages in the internal organs.
A variety of radiographic examination is computed tomography and angiography.
Endoscopic examinations. Using special optics, the doctor examines the mucous membrane of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum (gastroscopy), bladder (cystoscopy), rectum and large intestine (colonoscopy), abdominal cavity (laparoscopy), bronchi (bronchoscopy).
Using endoscopic equipment, doctors can not only examine the abdominal cavity, but also remove polyps or stop bleeding. As for laparoscopic operations, when a special device (endoscope) is inserted through a small hole in the anterior abdominal wall, this method is usually used when acute inflammation in the abdominal cavity is suspected (appendicitis, peritonitis) or for the treatment of diseases of the liver and gall bladder.
ATTENTION! Endoscopic examinations are considered invasive diagnostic methods.
The doctor must have good reasons to prescribe them to the child.
Biopsy. At the time of the endoscopic examination specialist can take a small piece of the body, then to carefully study it under a microscope.
Gastric sensing is a method of obtaining gastric juice or the contents of the duodenum. Appointed to small patients in the event of gastritis or liver disease and biliary tract.
One of the methods of detection in the body lamblia baby.
ATTENTION! Gastric sensing is an invasive diagnostic method, which is why this procedure is not prescribed to babies without good reason.
ECG (electrocardiography) is a simple, non-invasive method for diagnosing heart disease. However, serious problems, such as congenital heart disease, cannot be determined using an ECG.
For this there is another study: ultrasound of the heart. By the way, ECG is prescribed very rarely for very young children.
EEG – electroencephalography. A special study that confirms serious neurological diseases (eg, epilepsy).
Usually, babies are recommended to do neurosonography (ultrasound of the brain).
Ultrasound of the brain. This procedure can detect intracranial pressure or hydrocephalus (“dropsy” of the brain).
To this end, doctors operate in two ways.
Identify the causative agent of infection, “growing” it in special conditions (this method is called microbiological or bacteriological seeding); determine in a saliva, urine or blood of a patient a particle of a microbe by the method of PCR (polymerase chain reaction); they find toxins – waste products of a harmful microorganism and its constituent structures.
Investigate the reaction of the immune system in response to the appearance of infection: it is known that various immunoglobulins “go out” to fight microorganisms. For this, doctors use special methods, for example, ELISA – enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, RAC – compliment binding reaction, RPHA – direct agglutination reaction.
It is important to understand that the cost of the study and its diagnostic value are not related to each other. Diagnostic tests really differ from each other also in cost.
Now everything is at the disposal of patients, starting with “free” general clinical tests and ending with up-to-date and super-expensive procedures using computers, nuclear magnetic resonances, powerful laboratories. The price of the analysis is determined by many criteria: it includes the cost of reagents and equipment, the complexity of the study or the degree of its invasiveness.
But a direct relationship between the cost of research and quality in most cases does not exist.
Fortunately, experienced doctors often save their patients from the unjustified costs of examinations. But even if the doctor does not experience difficulties in making a diagnosis, the results of mandatory research should be at his fingertips.
After all, some diseases have similar symptoms, but require different treatment. Thus, abdominal pain can be caused by bacteria, protozoa, worms or malfunction of the digestive system.
In the first case, blood or feces will help to find out about this, and in the second case, ultrasound, gastroscopy, or microbiological tests (for example, feces analysis for dysbacteriosis) will help.