DISCOVER
×

What Is Plasma Blood Testing?

Updated February 21, 2017

Blood plasma is a yellowish liquid that serves as a suspension material for blood cells. It is primarily made of water, but also contains proteins, salt and glucose. Plasma transports a range of materials from cellular waste products to amino acids, ions and antibodies. Many blood tests are in fact plasma blood tests, in which the plasma is tested exclusive of red blood cells.

Procedure

Plasma blood tests require a sample of blood, usually drawn with a needle. The blood is then treated with an anti-coagulant, which stops clotting, and then it is run through a centrifuge to separate the blood and plasma.

HIV

Plasma blood testing can be used to determine HIV infection by detecting HIV antibodies in the plasma.

The CDC

The Center for Disease Control uses plasma blood testing to confirm a number of conditions including toxocariasis and toxoplamosis (conditions caused by parasites).

Diabetes

Plasma glucose tests, which measure blood sugar levels, are used as a diabetes screening test.

Considerations

Plasma travels to virtually every part of the body, which means it is exposed regularly to any infections. This is the reason why plasma testing is used across so many situations.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.