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.