What is Liver Function Test?
Liver function tests, LFT is an investigation carried out to check the levels of certain enzymes and proteins in your blood.
The results of the results which show the Levels of these substances to be on the higher or lower sides than normal reference range may signify liver problems.
Below are basic common liver function tests:
- Alanine transaminase (ALT). ALT is an enzyme found in the liver that helps convert proteins into energy for the liver cells. When the liver is damaged, ALT is released into the bloodstream and levels increase.
- Aspartate transaminase (AST). AST is an enzyme that helps metabolize amino acids. Like ALT, AST is normally present in blood at low levels. An increase in AST levels may indicate liver damage, disease or muscle damage.
- Alkaline phosphatase (ALP). ALP is an enzyme found in the liver and bone and is important for breaking down proteins. Higher-than-normal levels of ALP may indicate liver damage or disease, such as a blocked bile duct, or certain bone diseases.
- Albumin and total protein. Albumin is one of several proteins made in the liver. Your body needs these proteins to fight infections and to perform other functions. Lower-than-normal levels of albumin and total protein may indicate liver damage or disease.
- Bilirubin. Bilirubin is a substance produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin passes through the liver and is excreted in stool. Elevated levels of bilirubin (jaundice) might indicate liver damage or disease or certain types of anemia.
- Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT). GGT is an enzyme in the blood. Higher-than-normal levels may indicate liver or bile duct damage.
- L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD). LD is an enzyme found in the liver. Elevated levels may indicate liver damage but can be elevated in many other disorders.
- Prothrombin time (PT). PT is the time it takes your blood to clot. Increased PT may indicate liver damage but can also be elevated if you’re taking certain blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin.
Normal blood test results for typical liver function tests include:
- ALT. 7 to 55 units per liter (U/L)
- AST. 8 to 48 U/L
- ALP. 40 to 129 U/L
- Albumin. 3.5 to 5.0 grams per deciliter (g/dL)
- Total protein. 6.3 to 7.9 g/dL
- Bilirubin. 0.1 to 1.2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
- GGT. 8 to 61 U/L
- LD. 122 to 222 U/L
- PT. 9.4 to 12.5 seconds
These results are typical for adult men. Normal results vary from laboratory to laboratory and might be slightly different for women and children.
Your doctor will use these results to help diagnose your condition or determine treatment you might need. If you already have liver disease, liver function tests can help determine how your disease is progressing and if you’re responding to treatment.
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