This page is intended to serve as a guide to
selected resources on medical testing. The first listings on this page are
databases to which the UIC Library subscribes. These can be accessed by
anyone from within the Library of the Health Sciences (LHS) or elsewhere
on the UIC campus. Access from other locations is limited to UIC
students, faculty, and staff who have a valid netID and password. A link
to freely available Web sources is also included, as are books in the LHS
collection (note that some books are also available in online, full-text
format to UIC users).
Some of the resources on this page emphasize the tests themselves --
what they are intended to measure, how they were developed, how they are
carried out, alternative tests that serve the same purpose, etc. Other
resources focus on the interpretation of tests -- whether or not
particular test results suggest disease, factors that might affect the
interpretation of results, etc.
Very little of the information presented on this page has to do with
psychosocial testing. A page of resources on psychosocial test
instruments is available
Tests are often performed to assist in differential diagnosis (that
is, determining which of two or more diseases or conditions a patient is
suffering from). For resources related to differential diagnosis, click
If you would like further information or assistance, please ask for help at the
Information Services desk.
Includes two searchable, full-text appendices of possible interest -- "Laboratory
Values of Clinical Importance" and "Instructions for Collection and Transport of
Specimens for Culture."
and then "patient handouts." There is information on certain tests for patients
in this section. You can search within the handouts for your search term(s).
FirstConsult includes a "Patient Education" section that is keyword searchable.
In most cases there are not separate entries for tests, but many handouts on diseases
and conditions include discussion of the test or tests that may help with diagnosis.
Essential Evidence Plus
Essential Evidence Plus contains a large set of evidence-based decisionmaking tools for clinicians.
If you enter InfoPOEMS, choose "InfoRetriever," and then "individual databases," you can search
for diagnostic tests by either disease or symptom.
PubMed is a vast database of medical journal articles maintained by the National
Library of Medicine (NLM). You can search PubMed as you would any search engine,
but your search is more likely to be productive if you start out in NLM's
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Database.
The MeSH database allows you to search for the "official" terms that the NLM uses to
describe particular diseases, medical tests, and other terms related to medicine and
medical research. You can easily transfer one or more MeSH terms to PubMed and
begin a search for actual articles.
Lab Tests Online
This site is sponsored by companies that develop and conduct laboratory tests,
and might therefore be considered potentially biased. That said, the site's
information is controlled and peer-reviewed by the American Association for Clinical
Chemistry, and the site contains a wealth of patient-oriented information on tests and screening.
This website serves as a collection point for high-quality, consumer-oriented health
information collected by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes
of Health. Links to some of the most relevant pages are gathered on the page titled
but you can also do a search on a specific test or testing-related term (for example,
"chloride test," or "medical tests").
National Library of
Medicine (NLM) Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Database
The MeSH database allows you to search for the "official" terms that the National
Library of Medicine uses to describe particular diseases, medical tests, and other
terms related to medicine and medical research. Finding these official terms makes
it easier and more productive to search
the database of medical journal articles maintained by the National Library of Medicine.
Access to PubMed is free, but UIC patrons can search a version of PubMed that contains
links to UIC's full-text e-journals (see above under "databases").
Many governmental agencies and not-for-profit groups have information on the web related to
specific tests and conditions. Examples of high-quality information (that is, developed and
reviewed by medical experts) include the
of Health's "Understanding Your Complete Blood Count"
page and the
National Cancer Institute Screening and Testing
page. In many cases, searching in Google with the name of a particular condition or
disease and the words "test" or "screening" can bring up information, but make sure
to verify the authority of the source!
This is not a complete list of all medical testing books available at the Library
of the Health Sciences. Many more books are located in the reference section and the book stacks.
To find additional books not listed in this section please search the online catalog at
or ask for assistance at the
Click on the call numbers below for availability information.
Books for Clinicians
A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 7th ed.
QY25 F528m 2004
Also available online to UIC users.
Chapter one includes information on the clinician's role and responsibilities with respect for testing, discusses safe, effective care for pre-test, intra-test, and post-test periods, and touches on clinician communication with patients. Chapters 2-16 discuss specific tests grouped by type (e.g., stool studies, blood studies, urine studies).
Widmann's Clinical Interpretation of Laboratory Tests, 11th ed.
Ronald A. Sacher, Richard A. McPherson
QY4 S1212w 2000
Introductory chapter includes information on specificity, sensitivity, predictive value, and
other principles of interpretation of lab tests. Remaining chapters are organized by
discipline (e.g., hematology, immunology, endocrinology). Appendix E lists normal lab values for many tests.
Interpretation of Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
QY25 W195i 2007
online to UIC users.
Chapters one and two include information on normal and critical lab values. Chapters three and
four discuss urine and blood testing. Chapters five to nineteen address diseases of particular
organ systems. Includes an appendix of test-related acronyms and abbreviations.
Henry’s clinical diagnosis and management by laboratory methods. 21st ed.
John Bernard Henry, M.D.
QY 4 C6405 2001
Now in its 20th edition, this book is considered to be one of the most comprehensive and
authoritative sources of information on the use of clinical laboratory tests in diagnosis
and treatment. Includes a vast amount of information on test methodology, problems with
test interpretation, and relevance of test results to patient care. Includes information
on molecular pathology that is missing in many other treatments.
Laboratory Test Handbook: concise with Disease Index
David S. Jacobs, Wayne R. DeMott, and Dwight K. Oxley
QY39 L1235 2004
The introduction discusses problems with analytical error in general and with the establishment of
reference and normal ranges in particular. The next section discusses considerations related to
specimen collection. Remaining sections cover particular types of testing. Appendices include
alphabetical listing of tests and diseases and a glossary of acronyms and abbreviations.
Report of the Task Group on Reference Man
Prepared by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, Chaird by W.S. Snyder
GN 56 161r 1975
Though dated, and not specifically compiled for use in testing (it was created during the Cold
War to guide physicians in dealing with radiation exposure), this book provides reference
ranges for eclectic aspects of human anatomy and physiology that are difficult to find elsewhere.
Includes values for males and females from infancy to adulthood.
Pediatric Reference Ranges
Steven S. Soldin, Carlo Brugnara, and Edward C. Wong
QY 16 P371 2003
This book provides reference ranges for numerous chemical and hematological tests. Includes
values for males and females from infancy to age 16, 18, or 20.
Books for Consumers
The Patient's Guide to Medical Tests
Joseph C. Segen, Joseph Stauffer
QY4 S454p 1998
Written in relatively simple, straightforward language, this book includes an alphabetical
listing of tests with basic information about the purpose and cost of each test, as well
as reference and abnormal test values. Includes a glossary and list of medical abbreviations and symbols.
Medical Tests Sourcebook
Joyce B. Shannon
Written for patients, this book contains concise, easy-to-read information regarding
why and when a particular test is necessary, which tests are best used for different
patient groups, and how often these tests are needed. Covers a wide variety of tests.