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    ELISA

    Enzyme-linked immuno assay; EIA

    ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immuno assay. It is a commonly used laboratory test to detect antibodies in the blood.

    How the Test is Performed

    Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. This is called a venipuncture.

    The sample is sent to a laboratory where the targeted antibody or antigen is linked to specificenzyme. If the target substance is in the sample, the test solution turns a different color.

    How to Prepare for the Test

    No special preparation is needed.

    How the Test Will Feel

    When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.

    Why the Test is Performed

    This test is often used to see if you have been exposed to viruses or other substances that cause infection. It is often used to screen for current or past infections.

    Normal Results

    Normal values depend on the type of substance being identified. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.

    The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.

    What Abnormal Results Mean

    Abnormal values depend on the type of substance being identified. In some people, a positive result may be normal.

    Risks

    Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.

    Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:

    • Excessive bleeding
    • Fainting or feeling light-headed
    • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
    • Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)

    References

    Ashihara Y, Kasahara Y, Nakamura RM. Immunoassay and immunochemistry. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 44.

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    • Blood test

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      • Blood test

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      A Closer Look

        Tests for ELISA

        Review Date: 10/14/2012

        Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

        The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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