Thymol Turbidity Test

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THYMOL TURBIDITY TEST MEANING Thymol turbidity is a laboratory test for the non-specific measurement of blood globulins.  These so-called globulins are a group of proteins that develop in abnormally high concentration, linked with a wide variety of diseases, especially those affecting the liver.  THYMOL TURBIDITY TEST USES Thymol turbidity is used for the determination of… Read More

Thymol Turbidity Test


Thymol turbidity is a laboratory test for the non-specific measurement of blood globulins. 

These so-called globulins are a group of proteins that develop in abnormally high concentration, linked with a wide variety of diseases, especially those affecting the liver. 


Thymol turbidity is used for the determination of serum proteins. 

In current practice, thymol turbidity is rarely used and has therefore lost its popularity amongst medical practitioners. Serum protein electrophoresis appears to be the choice of most healthcare managers today. 

Serum protein electrophoresis is a laboratory test (just like thymol turbidity) that examines specific proteins in the blood (known as globulins).


The thymol turbidity test method comprises of adding one volume of blood serum to sixty volumes of a barbital buffer supersaturated with thymol. 

The thymol-globulin interaction results in turbidity, the degree of which varies with the concentration of globulins.

Serum + buffered solution = thymol →turbidity.

Turbidity is the measure of the transparency of a fluid; being muddy, thick, and roil; not clear, and unable to be seen through. 

NTU is a unit of turbidity. 

Thymol turbidity normal range is 0 to 8 units; values of 60 to 100 tyrosine indices are normal.


Globulin is one of the major classifications of protein. It may be further divided into the euglobulins and the pseudoglobulins. 

Euglobulins are insoluble in water, but soluble in saline solutions and may precipitate in water that has been half-saturated with a salt (for example, ammonium sulfate). Pseudoglobulins are soluble in water and have properties resembling those of true globulins. 

Globulins are important sources of protein in seed plants; but in cereals, they are found in tiny quantities. Globulins in animal fluids are enzymes, antibodies, and fibrous/contractile proteins that are usually found in the blood plasma.

The three types of globulin include the alpha type (α), beta type (β), and gamma type (Ɣ). Alpha and beta globulins are transport proteins. They serve as substrates upon which other substrates are formed, and perform other diverse functions. Gamma globulins provide immunity against infections.

The emergence of abnormally high concentration of gamma globulins in the liver is associated with a variety of diseases, because of the defensive roles gamma globulins play. 

Thymol turbidity is one of the methods applied in liver function tests. High turbidity is observed in an estimate of 80% to 90% of patients with acute viral hepatitis, and it is useful in the differential diagnoses of two main types of jaundice. 

Today, other techniques that are capable of distinguishing between the different types of globulins and other blood proteins are used instead, due to a shortage of adequate information on thymol turbidity.


The liver is an organ of the body, located in the right upper portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the rib cage. 

It performs many vital functions in the human body system, some of which include:

  • Blood detoxification.
  • Metabolic functions (meaning that it processes nutrients and medications).
  • Processing waste products of hemoglobin and other cells.
  • Producing different important clotting factors, albumin, and many other important proteins.
  • Storing vitamins, fats, cholesterol, and bile.
  • Producing glucose (via gluconeogenesis or glucose synthesis).

Tests of liver injury can be carried out via enzyme analysis, spotting of autoimmune markers, and tracing markers of hepatitis virus infection. Liver “blood” function tests are some of the most commonly performed blood tests. 

These tests can be used to assess liver functions or liver injury. The first step in determining liver damage is having a blood test to know the level of certain liver enzymes in the blood. Most times, these enzymes live within the liver cells. But when the liver is injured, these enzymes spill into the bloodstream.

Enzymes are body proteins, with a unique function; they help in speeding up routine and important chemical reactions in the body. Important among them is the aminotransferase. They are the most sensitive and widely used. They include aspartate aminotransferase (AST or SGOT) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT or SGPT). 

These enzymes are normally predominantly contained within liver cells, and (to a lesser extent) in the muscle cells. When the liver gets injured or damaged these enzymes are spilled into the bloodstream, raising the AST and ALT enzyme blood levels and prompting liver disease. Another name for aminotransferase is transaminase.

Other blood tests pertaining to the liver are measurements of some other enzymes found in the liver. They include alkaline phosphatase, 5’nucleotidese, and Ɣ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT). 


Certain blood tests can truly determine the functions of one’s liver. Eight have been mentioned below. They include:

  • Coagulation Panel [Prothrombin Tine (PT) and International Normalized Ratio (IVR)]

This measures the blood’s ability for normal clotting and the prevention of bleeding and bruising.

Normal values: about 9.5 to 13.8 seconds.

  • Albumin Level Test (for Hypoalbuminemia)

Normal values: about 3.5 to 5.0g/dL.

Lower value: chronic liver disease (or liver cirrhosis).

  • Bilirubin Test

Bilirubin is a blood protein that serves as the byproduct of routine destruction of red blood cells in the liver, released as bile in the feces.

Normal values = about 0.1 – 10mg/dL.

Elevated value = liver dysfunction.

  • Platelet Count

Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) = advanced liver disease.

Normal platelet count = about 150,000 to 400,000 per µL.

  • Glucose Test

Low glucose level = advanced liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and diabetes.

  • GGT (Ɣ-glutamyl transpeptidase) Test

Normal levels = about 9U/L to 48U/L.

Abnormal level = liver damage.

  • ALP (alkaline phosphatase) Test

Normal levels = about 45U/L to 115U/L.

High levels = liver injury.

  • LD or LDH (lactase dehydrogenase) Test

Normal levels = about 122U/L to 222U/L.

Elevated level = liver disease.


High turbidity is observed in approximately 80% to 90% of individuals with viral hepatitis, and in 20% to 70% of those with cirrhosis. The test is also useful in the diagnosis of two main types of jaundice. 

A low result on liver function tests can indicate that your liver isn’t functioning properly. The normal range for albumin is 3.5g/dL to 5.0g/dL. However, low albumin can also be a result of poor nutrition, kidney disease, infection, and inflammation. Alcohol intake can render liver blood function tests faulty.

Today, thymol turbidity is rarely used, since other techniques are more preferred.


  • What is the thymol turbidity test?

In 1944, Machagan introduced the thymol turbidity test for the diagnosis of the liver. With this test, it should be seemingly possible to differentiate between hepatitis, obstructive jaundice, and hepatic cancer. 

  • What happens if the liver function test is abnormal?

ALT and AST may be only slightly high and the degree of abnormality in liver function tests can indicate the degree of injury. Chronic and acute alcohol use also can commonly cause abnormal liver blood tests. In alcoholic hepatitis, the range of liver tests can vary greatly.

  • Can liver function tests be normal with cirrhosis?

Several pit-holes can be encountered in the interpretation of common blood liver function tests. These tests can be normal in patients with chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. The normal range for aminotransferase levels is 8U/L to 33U/L and may vary slightly among different laboratories.

  • What are the symptoms of high globulin?

Indications of high globulin can be identified by night sweats (lymphoproliferative disorders), bone pain, weight loss (especially via cancers), unexplained bleeding (lymphoproliferative disorders), as well as fevers (from infections).

  • Can dehydration cause high globulins?

High total protein levels associated with increased globulin may be seen in dehydration, in response to acute infection (such as pneumonia and hepatitis), and chronic inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis and systematic lupus erythematosus).