Which lab value skeleton diagrams are used for discrete, cbc/cbcdiff, chem, and coag results?

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    – JMP
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 2:37
  • @JonMarkPerry If you take a look at this meta discussion you'll see that the focus here has changed and some things like the help section still need to be updated. This question is a bit obscure and could use some editing, but it's not off topic.
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    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 5:13
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    That said, to the OP, could you please spell out your question a bit more in plain language? You're talking to a wide audience.
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    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 5:40
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    @JonMarkPerry - Take a look at medicalsciences.meta.stackexchange.com/a/962 Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 8:09
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    @JonMarkPerry But its a question you would expect a medical student / a clinician to know, and this is the site for them. It’s not a site so that you can ask your GP, but a site where medical professionals share knowledge. Yes, that means we overlap with human biology, naturally
    – Narusan
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


These skeleton diagrams are used as short hand to avoid having to write units and test names for lab values - you can just look at a diagram of numbers and know what they apply to. Sodium is always in the same place, as is K, Cl, etc.

The skeletons are as follows:

  • Na K Cl HCO3 BUN Cr Glu = Chemistry 7

  • if you add AST ALT Alk Phos TBili Prot Ca = Chemistry 14 (which are usually in vertical form).

    • Your diagram has just the LFTs, which can be represented as in your diagram, or in others (it varies).
  • PT PTT INR = coagulation panel

  • pH PaCO2 PaO2 HCO3 SaO2 BE = ABG (Arterial Blood Gas)

  • WBC Hgb Hct Plt = key components of CBC (Complete Blood Count) without diff.

I found this example of writing the CBC diff, but have never actually seen it written out like that.

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Per request, this is a Khan academy video on lab values. I couldn't find any formal resources on fishbone diagrams, they're kind of passed on in medical education...

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    Might be useful to mention that you'll see a few different shorthand diagrams for LFTs, but I've never seen a different way to diagram a CBC or chem 7
    – De Novo
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 1:08
  • Are there any reputable references you can provide for background reading to what you have provided here? Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 8:41
  • That's tough because most of this is just passed down, but I found a video from Khan academy
    – DoctorWhom
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 14:40

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