Digestive Disorder Diagnostics

If your child is experiencing digestive disorders, his or her doctor will take a thorough medical history, noting the symptoms your child has experienced, as well as any other pertinent information. A physical examination is also done to help assess the problem more completely. Some patients need to undergo a more extensive diagnostic evaluation, which may include laboratory tests, imaging tests and/or endoscopic procedures. These tests may include any, or a combination of, the following:

Laboratory Tests

CHOC Children’s Laboratory Services is one of the only dedicated pediatric labs in Southern California. We specialize in providing children with the most pleasant lab experience possible—even when it comes to having blood drawn. All of our phlebotomists (people specially trained to draw blood) have at least two years of experience working with children before coming to CHOC and attend a very special four-week training course upon being hired to work with our patients.

We pride ourselves on processing blood, urine and stool tests as quickly and efficiently as possible using the very latest equipment and expert staff. Physicians connected to our computer network are often able to get routine results within 60 minutes.

Many of our gastroenterology patients will undergo laboratory tests, including:

  • Blood tests. Blood is often drawn to evaluate whether your child is anemic, has an infection or has an illness caused by inflammation or irritation. Learn more about blood tests at CHOC.
  • Stool culture. A stool culture checks for the presence of abnormal bacteria or blood in the digestive tract that may cause diarrhea, infection and other problems. A small sample of stool is collected and sent to the laboratory. Some results may take several days, especially when looking for a bacteria. Learn more about stool tests.
  • Urine analysis and culture. Urine analysis is done to help assess for urinary tract infections.

Imaging Tests

At CHOC Children’s, we offer a wide range of imaging services using the most advanced imaging equipment available. In addition, our imaging machines are carefully calibrated to provide the highest quality images using the lowest doses of radiation possible. Some of the more common imaging studies for gastroenterology patients include:

Learn more about imaging at CHOC Children’s.

Endoscopic Procedures

Endoscopic procedures are invasive procedures that allow doctors to look inside a child’s gastrointestinal system. Although most procedures require sedation, they are typically outpatient and do not require an overnight stay in the hospital.

Other Diagnostic Tests and Procedures

Long Live Childhood

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