Recommended

MedlinePlus – Lab Test Information

MedlinePlus - Lab Test Information has an A to Z list of many of the most common blood, body fluid, and urine tests. In "Related MedLinePlus Topics" the tests are also organized by group, such as metabolic panel and liver functions. This MedLine section is recommended to learn about some common laboratory tests. Other sites, including the testing sections of disease topics, will need to be used to provide additional information.

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The section has intuitive navigation by A-Z topic list. Each listed topic leads to a page with a user-friendly summary of the test and numerous links to diseases that an abnormal result could indicate. There is also a right-hand list that allow access to other topics related to the test. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

This section is a little more captivating than other sections, with pictures and different menus to navigate. However, it is still predominately lists of tests and links to sources related information.

Quality

Users can learn a lot about common laboratory tests and what they may be used for. Consistent and considerable referencing make the MedlinePlus lab testing section very reliable. Referencing is inconsistent for information from linked sites. However, most links go to respected federal or specialty organization sites.

Credibility

MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, and many other government websites. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies. Individual authors/editors of each lab test page are not identified & are only occasionally credited on the linked sites.

Pros

  1. Relevant and detailed resources for information about common laboratory/blood tests, including what they are, why they are needed, and what the results might mean.
  2. Each test has links to conditions that might be diagnosed with the test
  3. Very credible website with extensive references and backing from the U.S. government

Cons

  1. There are only a limited number of tests described
  2. Lack of naming individuals responsible for content detracts from the credibility of the content

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Links to additional information & conditions related to the test, especially conditions that might be diagnosed with the test

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov