Determine the Functioning of Your Liver with Liver Function Test - Hindustan Times

Determine the Functioning of Your Liver with Liver Function Test

Published on May 27, 2024 06:51 PM IST

Liver function test, commonly referred to as LFT, analyses the levels of enzymes, proteins, and other liver-produced substances in your blood.

A liver function test accurately assesses liver health by analysing the levels of liver enzymes, proteins, and bilirubin in your bloodstream.
A liver function test accurately assesses liver health by analysing the levels of liver enzymes, proteins, and bilirubin in your bloodstream.
ByHT Brand Studio

Liver, which is located in the abdomen, carries out a number of vital tasks, such as removing toxins, storing nutrients, breaking down drugs and alcohol, and creating bile, enzymes, and proteins. Considering its importance, keeping the liver functioning at its best is crucial for overall well-being. An effective method for evaluating the health and function of the liver is a liver function test (LFT). It gives medical professionals crucial insights into the general health and functioning of the liver. Read on to learn more about LFT and how it is used to assess liver function.

What is the Liver Function Test?

Liver function test, commonly referred to as LFT, analyses the levels of enzymes, proteins, and other liver-produced substances in your blood. These assessments provide crucial insights into your liver's health and functionality for healthcare providers. A liver panel typically evaluates multiple substances simultaneously in a single blood sample. The liver function test cost varies based on the diagnostic lab you visit.

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What Does Liver Function Test Include?

Liver function test assesses enzyme and protein levels in your blood, indicating potential liver issues when levels deviate from the norm. This test, alongside clinical assessment, offers insights into underlying problems. Key measurements include:

  • Alanine Transaminase (ALT): This enzyme, also referred to as SGPT, is predominantly found in the liver and plays a crucial role in converting proteins into energy for liver cells. Elevated ALT levels in the bloodstream often indicate liver damage, potentially stemming from various conditions such as fatty liver disease, hepatitis, or alcohol-induced liver injury.
  • Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): It is an enzyme found in the liver and bones, playing a vital role in protein breakdown. Higher ALP levels may signal liver damage or problems, such as a blocked bile duct or certain bone disorders like Paget's disease.
  • Aspartate Transaminase (AST): AST, or SGOT, is an enzyme aiding in the breakdown of amino acids. While present in various organs, including the liver and muscles, elevated AST levels typically suggest liver damage or disease, but can also point to muscle injury or heart problems.
  • Albumin and Total Protein: Albumin is a protein synthesised by the liver essential for various bodily functions that include maintaining fluid balance and transporting hormones and other substances. Reduced levels of albumin and total protein in the blood can indicate liver damage or disease, as well as gastrointestinal or kidney-related conditions affecting protein synthesis.
  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT): GGT, an enzyme present in the blood, tends to rise in response to liver or bile duct damage. While it is not specific to liver disease, elevated GGT levels can provide valuable insights when interpreted alongside other liver function tests.
  • Bilirubin: It is a byproduct of red blood cell breakdown, processed by the liver and excreted in stool. Elevated bilirubin levels may indicate liver dysfunction, such as hepatitis or bile duct obstruction. Additionally, conditions like certain types of anaemia or liver duct blockages can also contribute to increased bilirubin levels.
  • Prothrombin Time (PT): It measures the time taken for blood to clot, reflecting liver function in synthesising clotting factors. Increased PT may suggest liver damage or impaired liver function, but it's essential to consider other factors such as medication use, particularly blood-thinning drugs like warfarin, which can influence clotting times.
  • L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD): It is an enzyme primarily found in the liver and can indicate liver damage when levels are elevated. However, it's important to note that LD elevation can also occur due to other conditions such as muscle injury or certain cancers, necessitating a comprehensive diagnostic approach.

Why is a Liver Function Test Done?

Liver function test is primarily done for the following purposes:

  • Assessing whether symptoms could be attributed to liver disease or damage
  • Determining the severity of diagnosed liver disease
  • Monitoring the progression of liver disease or evaluating the efficacy of treatment
  • Detecting potential adverse effects of medications impacting liver function

What Do Abnormal Liver Function Test Results Indicate?

While this blood test can provide valuable insights, it may not offer a definitive diagnosis for a specific liver condition. However, it can guide your healthcare provider and aid in eliminating other potential causes. Further, diagnostic procedures such as imaging tests, specific virus blood tests, or liver biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Potential diagnoses might encompass:

  • Toxic hepatitis
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Viral hepatitis (A, B, or C)
  • Wilson's disease
  • Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Liver cancer
  • Cirrhosis

All in all, a liver function test offers a straightforward means for you and your healthcare provider to assess your liver health. Whether investigating potential liver disease or monitoring the impacts of medication or treatment, a small blood sample can yield significant insights. At Apollo 24|7, the LFT test price is just 800. While liver function tests alone may not suffice for a diagnosis, the information gleaned from these tests informs subsequent steps in your healthcare journey.

Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/subscribe to the content(s) of the article/advertisement and/or view(s) expressed herein.

Hindustan Times shall not in any manner, be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever for all that is stated in the article and/or also with regard to the views, opinions, announcements, declarations, affirmations etc., stated/featured in the same. The decision to read hereinafter is purely a matter of choice and shall be construed as an express undertaking/guarantee in favour of Hindustan Times of being absolved from any/ all potential legal action, or enforceable claims.

The information does not constitute medical/health advice. Readers are strongly advised to consult a registered medical practitioner.

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