A screening blood test for syphilis. Rapid plasma reagin is commonly abbreviated RPR.
A negative (“nonreactive”) RPR test result is compatible with a person not having syphilis. However, a person may have a negative RPR test and still have syphilis since, in the early stages of the disease, the RPR often gives negative results. This is a false negative RPR.
The RPR test is sometimes positive in the absence of syphilis. For example, a false positive RPR can be encountered in infectious mononucleosis, lupus, the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, hepatitis A, leprosy, malaria and, occasionally, pregnancy.
The VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory) test is similar to the RPR test. It is also designed to detect an antibody substance in the bloodstream when syphilis is present but, as with the RPR, early syphilis infections may give a false negative result. The VDRL, like the RPR, can also give false positive results.
- Test, rapid strep
A diagnostic test commonly used to demonstrate whether streptococcus bacteria (“strep”) are present in the throat. A throat infection with strep needs to be treated with an antibiotic. The traditional test for a strep throat has been a throat culture; the major drawback is that the results of the throat culture take 2 to 3 […]
- Test, Rorschach
A psychological test involving inkblots. The inkblots are used to determine what a person perceives (reads into) in the enigmatic and highly ambiguous shapes. Ten standardized blots are shown one at a time to a subject and their responses are recorded. The Rorschach test became a common psychological test and is still in use in […]
- Test, stool occult blood
A test to check for microscopic blood in stool. (Fecal refers to stool. Occult means hidden.) Abbreviated stool OB.
- Test, stress echocardiography
A supplement to the routine exercise cardiac stress test. During stress echocardiography, the sound waves of ultrasound are used to produce images of the heart at rest and at the peak of exercise. In a heart with normal blood supply, all segments of the left ventricle (the major pumping chamber of the heart) exhibit enhanced […]
- Test, syphilis (FTA-ABS)
The fluorescent treponemal antibody absorbed (FTA-ABS) test for syphilis is a blood serum screening test designed to demonstrate the presence or absence of specific antibodies directed against the organism (Treponema pallidum) responsible for syphilis. The test detects the majority but not all cases of the disease. It is thus a way of screening for the […]