Children's Hospital Colorado
Tests and Evaluations
Tests and Evaluations

Common Lab Tests

The following questions and answers help provide some basic information about the common lab tests administered at Children's Hospital Colorado.

What is a blood test?

A blood test is a common, but important procedure that may help your child's doctor diagnosis an illness or monitor treatment. The method used for drawing blood depends on the amount of blood needed and the age of the patient. At Children's Hospital Colorado, we only draw the minimum quantity needed and it never exceeds an amount that would not be entirely safe for the patient. Learn more about the ways blood can be drawn.

What is a sweat test?

Sweat tests are used to test for cystic fibrosis. These tests are most often administered to newborns as a follow up to the Newborn Screening Test, but they can be done on patients at any age. During a sweat test, the Children’s lab will stimulate an area of the patient’s skin so that the sweat can be collected. From this collection, the salt (sodium and chloride) concentration in the sweat can be determined. Sweat tests are not painful and take about 40-45 minutes.

What is a glucose tolerance test?

A glucose tolerance test is used to detect diabetes or hypoglycemia. This test has timed blood draws and usually takes up to 2 hours. The two main tests used to measure the presence of blood sugar problems are the direct measurement of glucose levels in the blood during an overnight fast, and measurement of the body's ability to appropriately handle the excess sugar presented after drinking a high glucose soda.