Which lab tests may be indicated in the diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder (manic-depressive illness)?

Updated: May 06, 2018
  • Author: Stephen Soreff, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

Although not a routine screening test in bipolar disorder and unnecessary in patients with normal liver function test results, urine copper level testing may be performed to rule out Wilson disease, which produces mental changes. Wilson disease is a rare condition that is easily missed.

Antinuclear antibody testing is used to rule out lupus.

Testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be helpful. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) causes changes in mental status, including dementia and depression.

Obtaining a Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test may be indicated in selected patients. Syphilis, especially in its later stage, alters mental status.


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