Important Laboratory Tests for Your Next Visit

Hopi Health Care Clinic

November 17, 2022

As we progress in years, laboratory testing may prove to be extremely useful when paired with knowledgeable providers. Oftentimes we, and our loved ones, do not ask important questions about our own mental and cardiovascular health. Instead, we focus on others and their well-being while putting our health on the back burner. Let’s change this narrative and begin to ask more questions and be informed on the availability of laboratory tests to guide our providers.

The following laboratory tests may allow your provider to get an accurate assessment of your health. In some instances, you can request them on your own and pay out of pocket versus having to convince your provider they are medically necessary to qualify for third party payment.

Below is a list of tests to discuss at your next visit:

• Lipoprotein (a) aka Lp(a)

o Recommended at least once in all adults to identify those at high risk of heart disease or stroke.

• Brain Natriuretic Peptide (BNP)

o This is currently the most well documented cardiac marker associated with stroke.

• Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP)

o Can accurately determine the severity of a brain injury through a blood test.

• Red Cell Distribution Width (RDW)

o Measures the differences in the volume and size of your red blood cells (erythrocytes). Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body. Your cells need oxygen to grow, make new cells, and stay healthy.

• Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR)

o A normal range of NLR is between 1-2, the values higher than 3.0 and below 0.7 in adults are pathological. NLR in a grey zone between 2.3-3.0 may serve as early warning of pathological state or process such like cancer, atherosclerosis, infection, inflammation, psychiatric disorders and stress.

• Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9)

o A sensitive and specific marker for predicting the risk of sHT with high diagnostic accuracy, particularly for severe forms of HT in AIS patients.

• Aquaporin-4 (AQP4)

o Which tends to be a new trend in research into new biomarkers related to stroke prognosis.


Gkantzios, A., Tsiptsios, D., Karatzetzou, S., Kitmeridou, S., Karapepera, V., Giannakou, E., … & Vadikolias, K. (2022). Stroke and Emerging Blood Biomarkers: A Clinical Prospective. Neurology International14(4), 784-803.

Krishnamoorthy, S., Singh, G., Soman, B., Foerch, C., Kimberly, W. T., Millán, M., … & Sylaja, P. N. (2022). Biomarkers in the prediction of hemorrhagic transformation in acute stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cerebrovascular Diseases51(2), 235-247.

Schwartz, G. G., & Ballantyne, C. M. (2022). Existing and emerging strategies to lower Lipoprotein (a). Atherosclerosis349, 110-122.