ELISA stands for enzyme-linked immuno assay. It is a commonly used laboratory test to detect antibodies in the blood.
Blood is typically drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. This is called a venipuncture.
No special preparation is needed.
When the needle is inserted to draw blood, some people feel moderate pain, while others feel only a prick or stinging sensation. Afterward, there may be some throbbing.
This test is often used to see if you have been exposed to viruses or other substances that cause infection. It is often used to screen for current or past infections.
Normal values depend on the type of substance being identified. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
Abnormal values depend on the type of substance being identified. In some people, a positive result may be normal.
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight but may include:
Enzyme-linked immuno assay; EIA
Ashihara Y, Kasahara Y, Nakamura RM. Immunoassay and immunochemistry. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 44.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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