Liver function tests, also known as a liver panel, are a series of blood tests that measure different enzymes, proteins, and other substances produced by the liver. In this article, we will explore liver function tests, what they are used for, and what to expect during the testing process.
What Are Liver Function Tests?
Liver function tests are a group of blood tests that measure the overall health of your liver. These tests check for different substances produced by the liver, including enzymes, proteins, and waste products. The following are some of the substances tested during liver function testing:
- Albumin: A protein made in the liver
- Total protein: Measures the total amount of protein in the blood
- ALP (alkaline phosphatase), ALT (alanine transaminase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), and gamma-glutamyl tansferase (GGT): Different enzymes made by the liver
- Bilirubin: A waste product made by the liver
- Lactate dehydrogenase (LD): An enzyme found in most of the body’s cells that is released into the blood when cells have been damaged by disease or injury
- Prothrombin time (PT): A protein involved in blood clotting
Liver function tests are often conducted at the same time on a single blood sample.
Why Are Liver Function Tests Used?
Liver function tests are most commonly used to help diagnose liver diseases, such as hepatitis, monitor the treatment of liver disease, and check how badly a liver has been damaged or scarred by disease, such as cirrhosis. These tests are also used to monitor the side effects of certain medications.
Who Needs Liver Function Tests?
You may need liver function testing if you have symptoms of liver disease, such as jaundice, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark-colored urine, light-colored stool, or fatigue. You may also need these tests if you have certain risk factors, such as a family history of liver disease, alcohol use disorder, exposure to hepatitis viruses, or take medications that may cause liver damage.
What Happens During Liver Function Tests?
During liver function testing, a healthcare professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. The test usually takes less than five minutes.
Do I Need to Prepare for Liver Function Tests?
You may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 10-12 hours before the test. Your healthcare provider will provide you with instructions on how to prepare for the test.
Are There Any Risks to Liver Function Tests?
There is very little risk to having a liver function test. You may experience slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was inserted, but most symptoms go away quickly.
What Do the Results Mean?
If one or more of your liver function test results were not normal, it may indicate liver damage or dysfunction. Conditions that can cause liver damage include hepatitis A, B, or C, alcohol use disorder, liver cancer, or diabetes. If you have questions about your results, talk to your healthcare provider.
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?
If any of your liver function test results were not normal, your provider may need additional tests to confirm or rule out a specific diagnosis. These tests may include more blood tests and/or a liver biopsy, which is a procedure that removes a small sample of tissue for testing.
NABH Diagnostic Centre in North-east Delhi
We are a diagnostic centre and laboratory providing clinical solutions like MRI Scans, CT Scans, Mammography, Digital X-ray, IVP, HSG, ECG–EEG, TMT, 4D & 5D Ultrasound, PFT, All types of Blood Tests, etc. We promise quality, we deliver it. Deep Medical Centre’s foremost focus has always been to maintain the highest standards in testing and hygiene, resulting in a high level of satisfaction among our more than twenty thousand patrons and being the fastest-growing laboratory in Northeast Delhi.
Our compassionate highly qualified team of radiologists and assistants have a gentle, caring manner and a feeling of family care because we keep our all empathy with not-so-good times that you or your family member may be going through, to require a diagnostic test.
If you have any questions about our imaging services, call Deep Medical Centre at (+91) 931-166-1478 / drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org / just click here to open the map to our physical location or request an appointment now. We wish you and your family a very healthy smiling time.