Laboratory

Preprocedure laboratory testing often includes hemoglobin, hematocrit, electrolyte levels, coagulation parameters, and complete blood count with differential. A creatinine level should be included if vertebrography will be performed. Elderly patients may not mount the usual immunologic responses to infection, or may harbor low-grade infections without fever. Although nonspecific, an elevated sedimentation rate may point to a chronic infectious process and further testing may be indicated.

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