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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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