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Blood Tests for Diabetes: Random Plasma Glucose Test

This test can be conducted any time of day to check blood sugar levels in people with symptoms of diabetes.


Also known as: RPG; casual plasma glucose test; random blood sugar test. 

What is it? The random plasma glucose test measures plasma (or blood) glucose levels. It is performed with a small blood draw taken at any time of the day (hence the term “random”). 

Why is this test performed? Generally, as a screening test for diabetes when a patient has serious diabetes symptoms and has had food or drink, and therefore can’t do a fasting plasma glucose test or oral glucose tolerance test.

How is this test performed? The test consists of a simple blood draw, which is sent to your doctor’s lab for analysis. 

What do normal results mean? A random plasma glucose test that is under 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/l) is considered acceptable. 

What do abnormal results mean? Levels of 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/l) or higher, along with the presence of symptoms of diabetes (e.g., excessive thirst and/or urination, blurry vision, unexplained weight loss), indicate a diagnosis of diabetes. The results should be confirmed through a separate test, either the oral glucose tolerance test or the fasting plasma glucose test, taken on another day.

Other conditions which may result in an elevated result include pancreatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, liver or kidney disease, eclampsia, and other acute illnesses, such as sepsis and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

SOURCES

American Diabetes Association.  “Diagnosing Diabetes and Learning About Prediabetes.” Accessed August 30, 2017. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diagnosis/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.” AACE Diabetes Resource Center. Accessed August 30, 2017. http://outpatient.aace.com/type-2-diabetes/diagnosis-of-type2-diabetes-mellitus

Mayo Clinic. “Tests and Diagnosis.” July 31, 2014. Accessed August 30, 2017. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20033091

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “Diabetes & Prediabetes Tests.” April 2014. Accessed August 30, 2017. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/diabetes-prediabetes

U.S. National Library of Medicine. “Blood Sugar Test—Blood.” MedlinePlus. Accessed August 30, 2017. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003482.htm

Blood Tests for Diabetes: Random Plasma Glucose Test
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