Liver Function Tests: Purpose, Procedure, and Risk

What are liver function tests ? Liver officiate tests, besides known as liver chemistries, help determine the health of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver-colored enzyme, and bilirubin in your blood. A liver affair test is frequently recommended in the watch situations :

  • to check for damage from liver infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • to monitor the side effects of certain medications known to affect the liver
  • if you already have a liver disease, to monitor the disease and how well a particular treatment is working
  • if you’re experiencing the symptoms of a liver disorder
  • if you have certain medical conditions such as high triglycerides, diabetes, high blood pressure, or anemia
  • if you drink alcohol heavily
  • if you have gallbladder disease

many tests can be performed on the liver. certain tests can reflect different aspects of liver officiate. normally practice tests to check liver-colored abnormalities are tests checking :

  • alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
  • alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • albumin
  • bilirubin

The ALT and AST tests measure enzymes that your liver releases in reaction to damage or disease. The albumin test measures how well the liver creates albumin, while the bilirubin test measures how well it disposes of bilirubin. ALP can be used to evaluate the bile duct system of the liver-colored. Having abnormal results on any of these liver tests typically requires follow up to determine the cause of the abnormalities. even mildly raise results can be associated with liver disease. however, these enzymes can besides be found in other places besides the liver. spill to your sophisticate about the results of your liver routine examination and what they may mean for you.

What are the most common liver function tests?

Liver affair tests are used to measure specific enzymes and proteins in your blood. Depending on the test, either higher- or lower-than-normal levels of these enzymes or proteins can indicate a problem with your liver. Some common liver function tests include :

Alanine transaminase (ALT) test

Alanine transaminase ( ALT ) is used by your body to metabolize protein. If the liver is damaged or not functioning properly, ALT can be released into the rake. This causes ALT levels to increase. A higher than normal result on this screen can be a sign of liver price. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, an ALT above 25 IU/L ( international units per liter ) in females and 33 IU/L in males typically requires promote quiz and evaluation .

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test

Aspartate transaminase ( AST ) is an enzyme found in respective parts of your body, including the heart, liver, and muscles. Since AST levels aren ’ triiodothyronine as particular for liver-colored price as ALT, it ’ mho normally measured in concert with ALT to check for liver problems. When the liver is damaged, AST can be released into the bloodstream. A high consequence on an AST test might indicate a problem with the liver or muscles. The normal scope for AST is typically up to 40 IU/L in adults and may be higher in infants and young children .

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test

Alkaline phosphatase ( ALP ) is an enzyme found in your bones, bile ducts, and liver. An alp test is typically ordered in combination with several early tests. high levels of ALP may indicate liver inflammation, obstruction of the bile ducts, or a bone disease. Children and adolescents may have elevated levels of ALP because their bones are growing. pregnancy can besides raise ALP levels. The normal rate for ALP is typically up to 120 U/L in adults .

Albumin test

Albumin is the main protein made by your liver. It performs many significant bodily functions. For model, albumin :

  • stops fluid from leaking out of your blood vessels
  • nourishes your tissues
  • transports hormones, vitamins, and other substances throughout your body

An albumin test measures how well your liver is making this particular protein. A low resultant role on this test can indicate that your liver international relations and security network ’ thyroxine functioning by rights. The convention range for albumin is 3.5–5.0 grams per deciliter ( g/dL ). however, low albumin can besides be a consequence of poor nutriment, kidney disease, infection, and ignition .

Bilirubin test

Bilirubin is a waste product from the breakdown of crimson lineage cells. It ’ s normally processed by the liver. It passes through the liver before being excreted through your stool. A damaged liver-colored can ’ thymine properly work bilirubin. This leads to an abnormally high tied of bilirubin in the blood. A high leave on the bilirubin test may indicate that the liver international relations and security network ’ thymine functioning properly. The convention range for total bilirubin is typically 0.1–1.2 milligrams per deciliter ( mg/dL ). There are certain inherit diseases that raise bilirubin levels, but the liver function is normal.

Why do I need a liver function test?

liver tests can help determine if your liver-colored is working correctly. The liver performs a number of vital bodily functions, such as :

  • removing contaminants from your blood
  • converting nutrients from the foods you eat
  • storing minerals and vitamins
  • regulating blood clotting
  • producing cholesterol, proteins, enzymes, and bile
  • making factors that fight infection
  • removing bacteria from your blood
  • processing substances that could harm your body
  • maintaining hormone balances
  • regulating blood sugar levels

Problems with the liver can make a person very sick and can even be dangerous.

How to prepare for a liver function test

Your doctor will give you complete instructions on how to prepare for the blood sample distribution assign of the test. Certain medications and foods may affect levels of these enzymes and proteins in your blood. Your repair may ask you to avoid some types of medications, or they may ask you to avoid eating anything for a time period of time before the examination. Be sure to continue drinking water prior to the trial. You may want to wear a shirt with sleeves that can easily be rolled up to make it easier to collect the blood sample distribution .

How a liver function test is performed

You may have your blood reap in a hospital or at a specialize screen facility. To administer the test :

  1. The healthcare provider will clean your skin before the test to decrease the likelihood that any microorganisms on your skin will cause an infection.
  2. They’ll likely wrap an elastic strap on your arm. This will help your veins become more visible. They’ll use a needle to draw samples of blood from your arm.
  3. After the draw, the healthcare provider will place some gauze and a bandage over the puncture site. Then they’ll send the blood sample to a laboratory for testing.

The risks of a liver function test

Blood draws are everyday procedures and rarely cause any serious side effects. however, the risks of giving a blood sample can include :

  • bleeding under the skin, or hematoma
  • excessive bleeding
  • fainting
  • infection

After a liver function test

After the test, you can normally leave and go about your animation as usual. however, if you feel dim or lightheaded during the blood draw, you should rest before you leave the test adeptness. The results of these tests may not tell your repair precisely which condition you have or the degree of any liver damage, but they might help your doctor of the church determine the future steps. Your repair will call you with the results or discuss them with you at a follow-up appointment.

In general, if your results indicate a problem with your liver-colored function, your sophisticate will review your medications and your past aesculapian history to help determine the campaign. If you drink alcohol heavily, then you ’ ll need to stop drink in. If your doctor identifies that a medicine is causing the elevated liver enzymes, then they ’ ll rede you to stop the medication. Your doctor may decide to test you for hepatitis, other infections, or other diseases that can affect the liver. They may besides choose to do imaging, like an sonography or CT scan. They may recommend a liver biopsy to evaluate the liver for fibrosis, fatty liver disease, or other liver-colored conditions .

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Category : Healthy