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Liver Function Test: Interpret The Results

Liver function tests are tests performed when a liver dysfunction is suspected. To know what does it consist of? What diseases can it reveal? What is the LFT test cost in Delhi, keep reading.

The designation "liver function tests" is somewhat misleading because most of these tests detect inflammation or damage to the liver; they do not actually explore the metabolic or secretory functions of liver bile. Such inflammation or lesions may be present even before the functions of the liver are affected. Liver function tests are blood tests that are a non-invasive way to check for liver disease (for example, hepatitis in a blood donation) and to measure the severity and progression of a disease of the liver and its response to treatment.

liver-function-tests

What is a hepatic blood test?

The hepatic blood test makes it possible to identify certain pathologies of the liver. Several elements are then assayed: hepatic enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, and alkaline phosphatase), bilirubin and albumin. The dosage of this protein makes it possible to evaluate the synthesis capacities of the liver.

  • Laboratory analyses are generally effective for:
  • Detect inflammation, lesions or dysfunction of the liver
  • Assess the severity of a liver injury
  • Monitor a person's progress in liver disease and response to treatment
  • Specify the diagnosis

When is a full liver test prescribed?

Liver function tests may be requested to confirm an abnormality in liver function and to determine its origin. For example in case of jaundice, dark urine, in the presence of nausea, diarrhea or unexplained vomiting, clear or discolored stools, weight loss or even fatigue, a liver test is indicated. It also makes it possible to monitor the development of liver damage once the diagnosis has been made.

What is a liver test?

To carry out a hepatic assessment, it is necessary to take a blood test. From this, a determination of enzymes produced by the liver or specific to this organ is carried out. Here are the main ones:

  • The transaminase (SGPT or ALT and SGOT or AST)
  • Gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase ( Gamma-GT or GGT)
  • The bilirubin
  • The alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • The prothrombin level

Disturbed liver balance: rate and causes

Although these indicators alone cannot confirm a particular pathology, certain dosages are however symptomatic of specific disorders.

The abnormally high bilirubin level may indicate cholestasis, pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer. Hepatic failure is usually indicated by an abnormally low prothrombin level.

An increase in transaminases (ALAT and ASAT) shows the presence of cytolysis, corresponding to the destruction of liver cells during viral hepatitis, alcoholism, drug intoxication or even a vesicle problem biliary. Anyway, a precise interpretation of these examinations to say the least complex must be made and the results should be compared to other symptoms before drawing conclusions. Other blood tests as well as additional examinations - MRI, ultrasound of the liver and bile ducts - must be carried out.

Another type of liver function test is prothrombin time which was made for calculating the international normalized ratio. In a situation where this test seems abnormal, it signifies that there is an acute disorder in liver.

Liver Function Test And Its Importance

To undergo a study of the liver profile does not make a special preparation, although the results will be more accurate if fasting is maintained for 10-12 hours prior to blood collection. The hepatic profile or hepatogram is basically a blood test specifically designed to assess whether or not the liver functions properly, for the diagnosis of liver diseases, to know if it has been affected by other pathologies originated in other parts of the body or to control the function Hepatic in patients who follow treatments with medications that are hepatotoxic.

It should be borne in mind that the liver is one of the most important organs because of its function in human metabolisms, such as the synthesis of plasma proteins; storage of iron, vitamins, and glycogen; protein synthesis such as albumin; the production of lipoproteins and triglycerides; cholesterol synthesis; bile production; detoxifying function, etc.

How should we prepare for a liver function panel?

They may ask your child to stop eating and drinking for 8 to 12 hours before having the blood test. Tell your child's doctor about any medications you are taking because there are some medications that can influence the test results.

The fact that your child is wearing a short-sleeved shirt on the day of the test can make things easier; they can also bring a toy or a book to get distracted.

How is the test done?

In most blood tests, a blood sample is drawn from a vein. For this purpose, a health professional:

  • The skin is cleaned first
  • Place a rubber (tourniquet) around the area so that the veins swell with blood.
  • Insert a needle into a vein (usually in the arm, either on the inside of the elbow or on the back of the hand)
  • Insert the blood sample into a vial or syringe.
  • Remove the rubber and remove the needle from the vein

In infants, blood can be drawn from a puncture in the heel. After cleaning the area, the healthcare professional will make a small puncture in the baby's heel with a small needle (or lancet) to collect a small sample of blood.

The extraction of a blood sample only causes temporary discomfort, and the only thing you feel is a short prick.

Doctors usually request the completion of a liver profile when the patient's medical history offers the suspicion that there is liver disease. In general, the confirmation of the diagnosis comes from the values ​​of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, GGT, AST, and ALT, since, either in isolation or in combination, they can indicate specific anomalies and cellular damage (cholestasis). If the values ​​are normal, the existence of pathology is ruled out.

On the other hand, in the case of liver disease, the hepatogram also offers useful information to establish a prognosis. Prothrombin time, bilirubin, and albumin are the most significant markers.

Assessment of Liver Function

The term "liver function tests" is misleading as most of these tests detect inflammation or liver damage, they do not actually explore the metabolic or secretory functions of liver bile (Liver: Functions of the liver). Such inflammation or lesions may be present even before the liver functions are affected. Liver function tests are blood tests that are a non-invasive way to look for the presence of liver disease (e.g., hepatitis in a blood donation) and to measure the severity and progression of an illness of the liver and its response to treatment.

Laboratory analyses are generally effective for:

  • Detect inflammation, lesions or liver dysfunction
  • Assess the severity of a liver injury
  • Monitor the evolution of the liver disease and the response to a person's treatment

Specify the diagnosis

Hepatic tests are performed on blood samples and measure the levels of enzymes and other substances synthesized by the liver. These substances include:

  • Alanine aminotransaminase (ALT)
  • Albumin
  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Alpha-fetoprotein
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST)
  • Bilirubin
  • Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase (gamma-GT)
  • Lactate dehydrogenase
  • 5'-nucleotidase

The level of some of these substances makes it possible to evaluate whether the liver performs its normal functions of protein production and bile secretion. The level of other substances can detect the presence and degree of inflammation of the liver. What is a normal value for many of these tests can be found in Blood tests? However, the values can sometimes be much higher than normal, usually because a person has another disease.

Why do a liver test?

The LFT test allows, on the one hand, research a possible abnormal liver function, on the other hand, to specify the nature of the anomaly highlighted to understand the origin of the attack better. Among different types of liver dysfunction, we distinguish different syndromes, the main ones of which are hepatic insufficiency (or hepatocellular insufficiency), cytolysis, cholestasis (with or without jaundice) and inflammation. Once the diagnosis is made, the repetition dosages can then monitor the evolution of the anomaly.

What are the examinations required for a liver assessment?

  • Liver function tests include the determination of several enzymes, relatively specific to the liver and manufactured (at least partially) by the liver: transaminase (SGPT or ALT and SGOT or AST) the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) the gamma-GlutamylTranspeptidase (gamma -GT) bilirubin
  • Other assays are less specific reflections of liver activity but are also markers of hepatic metabolism.
  • The determination of blood cholesterol (cholesterolemia): the liver essentially makes cholesterol. Its rate may be increased in case of cholestasis, decreased in the case of hepatocellular insufficiency.
  • The albumin dosage: it is a protein made by the liver. Its concentration in the blood is an indirect reflection (and not specific) of the good functioning of the liver. A decrease in its rate rather evokes a hepatocellular insufficiency.
  • Fibrinogen: it is a protein made by the liver. A decrease in the level of blood fibrinogen can be observed sometimes in case of hepatic insufficiency.
  • The electrophoresis of the proteins: it is a technique which makes it possible to observe a decrease or a relative or absolute increase of each class of proteins. In particular, it evaluates the proper functioning of the liver.
  • The prothrombin (PT) level: The prothrombin rate (or the prothrombin time) is a measure of the blood's coagulation rate. It indirectly helps to evaluate the state of the liver, since coagulation proteins are made in the liver. Prolongation of TP may indicate hepatocellular failure.
When Do I Need to Undergo a LFT ?

Liver testing for diseases is also carried out during pregnancy (ideally at the planning stage), before surgery and a course of treatment involving the administration of potent drugs.

When can an LFT test be required? It is recommended to regularly examine the most important organs and systems of the body for prophylactic purposes. But there are a number of symptoms that signal that verification is required as quickly as possible. Thus, the liver should be examined immediately if you notice the following signs of organ dysfunction:

Discomfort in the lower pair of ribs on the right is one of the first manifestations of liver problems. Barely noticeable nagging pains, tingling may accompany unusual sensations and a feeling of constriction or overcrowding in the area of the liver. Usually, they make themselves felt when laughing, talking loudly or shouting, sneezing, sharp sideways, lifting weights, as well as after eating fatty, smoked, fried or spicy foods. At first, a new feeling may not cause pain or tangible discomfort- in this case; they also say: “I found out where the liver is.” This is a reason to be wary, because even mild symptoms may indicate the initial stage of the serious hepatic disease.

The liver is enlarged. The change in the dimensions of the main gland is accurately recorded by ultrasound, but you can notice the changes yourself. This will indicate a bulging belly without an increase in overall fullness and with virtually no weight gain. The especially noticeable symptom in people with thin physique.

Unpleasant taste in the mouth. Patients with chronic liver problems have a constant dry mouth and bitterness on the tongue, sometimes with a characteristic flavor that is defined as “copper.” At the same time, an astringent feeling is noted in the mouth; taste sensations are reduced. Habitual food can cause rejection, even nausea and the urge to vomit.

Weight loss on the background of the asthenic syndrome. This symptom is largely a consequence of the previous one. Food rejection, loss of taste, nausea lead to a decrease in diet, which leads to weight loss. At the same time, the patient complains of unreasonable irritability, as well as weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, because the body's energy requirements are not met, and the toxic effects of impaired nitrogenous (protein) metabolism greatly increase- with an increased concentration of ammonia in the blood, secondary (hepatic) hyperammonemia occurs.

Jaundice is a common complex of symptoms, which is expressed in the yellowness of the skin, mucous membranes and whites of the eyes, as well as in dark urine, itching, and peeling of the skin, in chills, bone, and joint pain, and is caused by problems with the liver.

What does a liver function test reveal?

  • The fact of the disease, its degree, the level of liver failure;
  • The presence and degree of histological (cellular) changes in the structure of the liver tissue, such as fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver;
  • Diagnosis of specific liver diseases - viral and autoimmune hepatitis, fatty hepatosis.

The Possibilities of Prevention of Liver Cancer Disease at an Early Stage

Liver cancer is one of the most complicated diseases that people battle with. Many of the MRI test labs in Delhi have clarified that some cancers develop outside the liver and then spread to the area. But we can term the cancers as liver cancer only when they originate in the liver itself. Any kind of medical condition in the liver is considered to be very vital as the liver is one of the largest organs in the human body that performs multiple functions. Some of the most critical and life-saving functions of the liver is the removal of toxins from the body. If we delve into the causes of the liver diseases, it all boils down to the infection caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus. Infection with this virus can have its effect on the body for years and in the worst cases, it can even result in cirrhosis in your liver. People get infected through the physical contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a person who has the virus in their body. While it is true that liver cancer is a life-threatening condition, it can still be kept at bay provided we take up some preventive measures. This can be achieved in two ways: change in diet and change in lifestyle. Before we discuss them in detail, let us find out the warning signs of liver cancer.

Some warning signs of liver cancer are:

Loss of weight without trying

Nausea

Vomiting

Weakness and fatigue

Abdominal pain

Abdominal swelling

As mentioned before, liver cancer prevention is a mix of lifestyle and dietary changes. Here's what you need to implement for keeping the prevention process going.

1. Curbing alcohol: Drinking alcohol can lead to cirrhosis, which in turn, can lead to liver cancer. Therefore, there is no better alternative but to avoid alcohol altogether to prevent liver cancer. Quitting alcohol or drinking in moderation could help prevent liver cancer.

2. Weight management: Weight management is very important to prevent liver cancer. If you are obese or have a higher BMI than normal then managing your weight is the right start to your process of protecting the liver from cancer. People who are obese are more likely to suffer from fatty liver disease and diabetes, which are linked to liver cancer. Regular physical exercise and some dietary changes can help control your weight.

3. Quit smoking: Smoking, in general should not be done. Avoiding cigarettes is extremely essential for your better health. As much as it helps in liver cancer prevention, it also spares your lungs from getting cancer and reduces the negative impact in your overall health. You can try quitting smoking by reducing the consumption of cigarette consumption every day or with the use of cessation aids like nicotine patches. The goal should be that of quitting cigarettes completely to lower the risk of cancer and have a clean test result after an LFT Test.

4. Dietary changes: For better liver health, you need to maintain a well-balanced diet on a regular basis. You should avoid fatty, deep-fried foods and packaged foods. Ensure that you get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. To protect your liver, your diet should include boiled food, cooked vegetables and protein from seafood, poultry, lean red meat, eggs, or legumes.

What is a Liver Test and What are Its Parameters?

A liver test consists of dosing a number of enzymes or substances transformed or manufactured in whole or in part by the liver, in order to assess the proper functioning of the liver or liver metabolism.

Why to go for a LFT Test?

The liver assessment allows, on the one hand, research a possible abnormal liver function, on the other hand, to clarify the nature of the abnormality highlighted to understand the origin of the attack better. Among different types of liver dysfunction, we distinguish different syndromes, the main ones of which are hepatic insufficiency (or hepatocellular insufficiency), cytolysis, cholestasis (with or without jaundice) and inflammation. When the diagnosis is established, the repetition dosages can then monitor the evolution of the anomaly.

Liver function tests (LFT Test) include the following parameters:

Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a pigment derived from the metabolism of the HEM group whose elevation in the plasma determines a striking clinical sign such as jaundice.

Alkaline Phosphatase: The function of this enzyme is unknown. It is present in various cell lines such as the hepatocyte, the biliary epithelium, the osteocyte, the enterocyte and the cells of the placental trophoblast. Therefore, its elevation in plasma can occur in various hepatobiliary, bone, intestinal pathologies and also in the last third of pregnancy.

Albumin: Albumin corresponds to 65% of the serum proteins and has a half-life of 3 weeks. The concentration in the plasma depends on the ability of synthesis and plasma volume. Therefore, variations of both determine changes in serum levels. In general, albumin is a useful marker of the severity of chronic liver disease although its levels can be affected by changes in renal function, urinary or intestinal losses.

Aspartate aminotransferase (AST): This enzyme is present in the parenchymal cells of the heart, muscle, and liver. Its subcellular location corresponds to the cytoplasm and the mitochondria. The elevation of serum activity of AST is usually accompanied by other alterations of liver laboratory tests and reflects hepatocellular necrosis.

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT): This enzyme is a cytosolic enzyme found mostly in hepatocytes, which gives it a higher specificity than AST. Its meaning is the same as the latter meaning it rises markedly in acute cellular necrosis phenomena and to a lesser degree when there is a chronic destructive process of the hepatocytes.

Total Proteins: The analysis of Total Protein in urine and brain spinal fluid is of great value in the diagnosis of kidney and central nervous system diseases. Elevations in urinary protein are very common in the following conditions: vigorous exercise, fever and hypothermia, nephrosis and diabetic nephropathy and urinary tract infections. The analysis of the total protein in the brain spinal fluid helps in the diagnosis of conditions such as meningitis, CNS tumors, and cerebral hemorrhage.

Globulin: Globulins are a group of water-soluble proteins found in all animals and plants. Among the most critical globulins are seroglobulins (blood), lactoglobulins (milk), ovoglobulins (egg), legumin, fibrinogen, antibodies (gamma-globulins) and numerous proteins of the seeds.

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