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Pre-test information

Browse the list of specialised tests below to learn more about how to prepare for your upcoming pathology test.

Patient checking specimen labelPatient identification - why do we keep asking who you are?

When you come for a pathology test, our collection staff will ask you to tell them your full name and date of birth and will ask you to spell your full name. This is a critical part of the patient identification process and ensures that we select the correct patient file to record your results.

Even if you are a regular, it is Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology policy to ask you for this information every time you present for your pathology test.


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Type search terms into the field above the table to refine the list for relevant results.

Test instructions Overview

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and holter monitoring

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is used to measure a patient's blood pressure at regular intervals.

Holter monitoring is a test that utilises a portable device that measures and records a patient's heart activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours.

These tests are performed at selected Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology collection centres. Appointments are required.

Arterial blood gas (ABG)

An arterial blood gas (ABG) test is performed to investigate if a patient has an imbalance in the amount of oxygen gas (O2) and carbon dioxide gas (CO2) in their blood or to evaluate bloods acidity.

Blood tests

Blood tests are ordered by a health professional typically for the diagnosis of illness and/or for the measurement and/or detection of components within the blood.

Blood tests: fasting

Some blood tests require you to fast before the sample is collected.

Fasting means that you are not to eat or drink anything except water for 8 to16 hours before your blood test (12 hours is optimal).

Bone marrow biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy is a procedure in which small samples of marrow and bone are taken from the hip under local anaesthesia. 

As all blood cells (red cells, white cells, and platelets) are made in the bone marrow, this test is useful in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the blood —as well as many other diseases.

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing

Chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing self-collection instructions for patients.

Self-collect CST/HPV collection instructions

After speaking with your doctor, follow our step-by-step guide to perform a self-collect CST/HPV test.

Dexamethasone suppression test

This test measures cortisol before and after dexamethasone to check if a patient’s cortisol levels are under normal physiological control.

Faeces collection: adult and child

This testing requires the collection of a patient's faeces which is then sent to an SNP laboratory for microbiology testing/faeces PCR testing (including faeces enteropathogen and/or Clostridium difficile PCR testing) or faecal calprotectin testing.

Faeces collection: helicobacter pylori

This test examines a patient's faeces for the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can cause gastritis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach) or ulcers in the stomach and small intestine.

Faeces collection: occult blood

This test is useful in detecting whether blood (which may not be visible to the eye) is present in a patient's faeces which can be an indication of infection or disease.

This test requires the patient to collect a sample of their faeces.

Glucose tolerance test (GTT)

This test measures how quickly a dose of glucose is cleared from the blood, and is used to diagnose diabetes. The test requires the patient to remain at the collection centre for two hours.

Group B streptococcus screening test

This test is performed on pregnant women to detect the presence of colonisation of the genital area by Group B Streptococcus.

Histamine diet

This is a urine test performed to measure the levels of histamine in a patient's urine. A histamine-free diet must be maintained for the 24 hours prior to and during collection of a 24 hour urine.

Hydrogen methane breath test (HBT)

This test is a non-invasive procedure performed to measure the amount of hydrogen in the breath to diagnose several conditions that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms.

You will be required to drink a small sample of carbohydrate mixed with water and then collect breath samples by exhaling into a bag.  

Information for patient: accessing results

Information about how to request your pathology results from Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology.

Salivary cortisol

The collection of saliva is performed and tested to examine the levels of cortisol present. There are particular preparation requirements for this test.

Please read these instructions prior to starting your collection. This test must be performed at midnight (or requested time).

Semen collection

A semen analysis can be requested by your health practitioner to investigate fertility, infection and many other aspects of sperm function and health.

Semen samples are collected and tested Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) and on Saturdays in some regional centres. Samples must be transported to the laboratory within 1 hr of collection. 

Sputum collection

Sputum testing is performed to detect and identify bacteria or fungi that infect the lungs or breathing passages. Examining sputum can reveal the cause of a respiratory tract infection (chest infection).

Sputum is a secretion formed by the lungs and the lower airways (below the larynx, or voice-box).

Sticky tape test for pinworm

During the night, pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis) deposit their eggs in the area around the anus. In this test you will use a cellulose-tape slide to collect a sample that will be examined for the presence of pinworm eggs.

Sweat test

Sweat tests measure the amount of chloride in sweat. High chloride levels may indicate cystic fibrosis.

Therapeutic drug tests

This test is used to measure levels of therapeutic drugs and is usually only necessary for drugs with a ‘narrow therapeutic window' where there is only a small difference between too little (ineffective) and too much (toxic) drug.

Urea breath test (UBT)

This test examines someone's breath for the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

Helicobacter pylori can cause gastritis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach) or ulcers in the stomach and small intestine. The test is a non-invasive procedure that takes about 20 minutes.

Urine collection: 5-HIAA

This test is used to measure a particular chemical, present in urine, that is secreted in carcinoid syndrome. This test requires you to collect a sample of your urine.

Urine collection: cytology

Urine cytology is when the cells contained in urine are investigated under a microscope.

Cytology is most often used as a screening method to look for disease and to decide whether or not further tests are required to be performed.

Urine collection: microscopy, culture and sensitivity (MCS)

When investigating infection in urine, a sample is examined under a microscope and then cultured in order to detect and identify any bacteria and/or yeast growth.

Urine collection: sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

This test examines your urine using a technique known as polymerase chain reaction (PCR). It detects the presence of the DNA of the bacterium and/or parasite that might indicate that you have chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or trichomoniasis.

Urine drug screen (UDS)

A urine drug screen analyses a sample of your urine for the presence of prescription medications and/or certain illegal drugs.

This test is only performed at certain collection centres and appointment is preferred.