Clinical chemistry is a branch of laboratory medicine adapted to the observation of biochemical alterations within biological fluids, through the use of different analytical techniques. The observation of a series of parameters, as a function of potential pathologies or only as a screening method, allow a clearer diagnosis of any disease or state of well-being of the individual.
These analytes are quantified within the body fluids, through specific instrumentation.
The techniques are based on chemical reactions between one or more reagents and sample that develop a colored solution or a turbidity resulting from the formation of immune complexes, which absorb light at a specific wavelength.
Currently, clinical chemistry is performed on automated analytical instruments which use filters to select those wavelengths. In this way, through the detection of the light absorbed and not, the instrument compares the data with that of a calibration curve by returning a numeric value of the analyte.
The main classes are: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, hormones, enzymes and isoenzymes, vitamins, nitrogen, electrolytes, hemoglobin and metabolites.
These classes are divided into a series of metabolites that, combined with other laboratory tests, can give a clear clinical picture of the patient.
The values are compared with reference values dependent on the method of analysis and developed in standard conditions from ‘World Health Organization. Most of the parameters is machined on serum but some can also be read on matrix blood or plasma.