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The IHC Test And Why You Might Need It?

Have you heard of the IHC test? It is an essential medical procedure that can help diagnose various conditions. The IHC or immunohistochemistry test is a critical test for diagnosing and treating various diseases. It is also used as a tool to detect cancer, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. IHC is also used to look at conditions like Hodgkin’s disease and others resulting from malignant cancerous growth. This article will discuss the IHC test, its necessity, the IHC test cost, and its potential risks. So, if you’re curious about the IHC test and want to learn more, keep reading!

What is the IHC test?

The IHC test is a diagnostic tool to examine specific proteins in the human body. It can also determine the amount of protein in a tissue or fluid sample. The IHC test is an alternative to histopathology, a more invasive procedure. The IHC test involves staining a sample on a slide and examining it under a microscope. It is used for patients who may not be able to undergo a traditional biopsy procedure. IHC testing is helpful because of its ability to show changes in proteins from diseased or abnormal tissues. It can be used to diagnose and monitor diseases, identify infectious agents, and determine the aggressiveness of cancer. 

For example, it would help doctors determine the type of tumor and how aggressive it is. The technique is used to detect antigens (substances that trigger the body’s immune system) in cells of a tissue section.  In an immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, positive and negative refer to the presence or absence of an antigen in a tissue sample. Positive indicates that the antigen is present in the tissue, while negative demonstrates that it is not.

Why would anyone take the IHC (immunohistochemistry) test?

The IHC (immunohistochemistry) test detects the presence of specific antibodies and T cells in the body. It is a practical test for both research and clinical purposes.

  • When you take the IHC (immunohistochemistry) test, your blood is tested for several antibodies. These include:
  • Antibodies against infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites
  • Antibodies help to fight infection by neutralizing harmful substances an illness or disease produces.
  • Antibodies help to fight cancer by destroying abnormal cells.
  • Antibodies that help fight autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.
  • It can also help distinguish between different cancers and identify which therapies may be appropriate for a patient. The IHC test can also diagnose certain cancers, such as 
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • It detects specific proteins or antigens in tissue samples and helps diagnose autoimmune diseases, infections, and other conditions.
  • There are several benefits of the IHC test. These are: 
  • Identification of specific proteins in the tissue section.
  • Increased accuracy of diagnosis.
  • Detection of changes in antigens over time.
  • Validation of biomarkers for disease diagnosis.
  • Better understanding of disease mechanisms.
  • Identification of targets for drug development.
  • Monitoring of disease progression and treatment response.

IHC Test cost 

The IHC Test cost in India varies approximately from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 8000. It may vary from city to city and from lab to lab. And generally, IHC Test cost depends on several factors, such as,

  • the facility where the test is performed,
  • the equipment used, and,
  • the number of slides examined.

Potential risks associated with IHC (Immunohistochemistry) Test

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) tests can be valuable for diagnosing certain medical conditions. 

However, there are potential risks associated with IHC tests, including false positives, and false negatives. 

  • False Positive Results: False-positive results occur when the test inappropriately indicates that a specific antigen is present when it is not. It could result in a misdiagnosis of the condition being tested for.
  • False Negative Results: False-negative results occur when the test inappropriately indicates that an antigen is not present when it is. This misconception could also result in a misdiagnosis of the condition being tested for.
  • Tissue Damage: The use of harsh chemicals to detect antigens can lead to tissue damage which may be irreversible.
  • Contamination: Improper handling of the samples or reagents can lead to contamination and inaccurate results.
  • Inadequate Training: Incorrect sample preparation or incorrect interpretation of results can occur without adequate training.
  • Additionally, there may be risks associated with the sample collection process, such as infection or tissue damage. 

It is essential to discuss any potential risks with a healthcare provider before undergoing an IHC test.

Conclusion

The IHC test is valuable in diagnosing and treating many diseases. It is essential to understand the purpose of the test and the implications of the results. IHC tests can provide valuable insight into a wide range of medical conditions and are often used in conjunction with other tests to provide a comprehensive diagnosis. Discussing the IHC test with your doctor is vital to determine if it is right for you.

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