Talk:Diagnostic test

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Medical test[edit]

A medical test is any kind of diagnostic procedure performed for health reasons. It can be used to diagnose diseases, measure the progress or recovery from disease or confirm that a person is free from disease

Some medical tests are parts of a simple physical examination which require only simple tools in the hands of a skilled practitioner, and can be performed in an office environment. Some other tests require elaborate equipment or the use of a sterile operating theatre environment.

Some tests require samples of tissue or body fluids to be sent off to a pathology lab for further analysis. Some simple chemical tests, such as urine pH, can be measured directly in the doctor's office.

Most medical tests are conducted on the living; however, some of these tests can also be carried out on a dead person as part of an autopsy.

Medical tests can be classified into three categories: Invasive, Minimally Invasive or Non-Invasive. Types of medical tests include:

Consulting room tests: Auscultation, including listening with a stethoscope, Weighing and measuring height and girth, Measuring blood pressure, Taking the patient's pulse, Breath tests, Reflex tests, Sight test, Ophthalmoscopy, Hearing test, Digital rectal examination, Vaginal examination

More invasive examinations requiring sterile procedures: Biopsies, Lumbar puncture

Requiring laboratory analysis: Urine tests, Stool samples, Saliva samples, Hair samples, Blood tests, ESR, CBC (complete blood count), Blood gas monitor, DNA tests

Requiring microscopy Pap smears

Requiring elaborate medical equipment: X-rays, Barium enema, Intravenous pyelogram (IVP test), Ultrasound scans, Electrocardiogram (EKG), Electroencephalogram (EEG), Computer aided tomography scans, Positron emission, Tomography, Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Functional MRI, Endoscopy, Colonoscopy, Ystoscopy, Sigmoidoscopy, Colposcopy

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 16:18, 14 October 2005‎

lets rename this diagnostic test[edit]

The first sentence is less than clear and taken literally is simply wrong. If people know what a diagnostic test is enough to understand that lead sentence then they will understand the more precise term for the article. We can make a redirect from medical test. I am tired of seeing diagnostic test as a red link every time I mention one in an article. Any objections? alteripse 04:28, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes there are objections, there are many other types of medical tests than diagnostic ones. There are screening tests, triage tests, tests to evaluate progress of a treatment, tests of cure, etc. For instance, in a screening test (i.e., low prevalence of condition) considerations of cost, acceptability of procedure and specificity are more important. Whereas in a diagnostic setting, higher costs and more patient discomfort/risk may be acceptable, and sensitivity becomes more important. Merging the talk pages was quite confusing, have undone it. Zodon (talk) 07:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)


I moved substantial parts to Medical test, and left links to that article in the void, because the mentioned principles are generally the same for screening and monitoring tests as well. Feel free to reinsert if something is particularly important for diagnostic tests. Mikael Häggström (talk) 10:35, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Drug testing is not diagnostic[edit]

Drug tests are not diagnostic, and the reference to it should be removed. ( (talk) 03:48, 12 November 2012 (UTC))

Done. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:21, 2 May 2016 (UTC)