Liver function tests are used to detect liver damage or liver disease. Liver Function Tests or LFT’s give an indication of whether the liver is functioning properly. In order to diagnose or verify whether a person’s liver is functioning at optimal capacity, your doctor will ask you to get your LFT’s checked. To do this certain blood tests are conducted on your blood sample.
ALT – Alanine Aminotransferase – ALT is an enzyme found primarily in the liver. It is useful for detecting viral hepatitis. It is normally present in low levels but if there is any damage or injury to the liver, the ALT levels will rise. This happens because some of the enzymes may have leaked into the blood and increased the levels.
ALP – Alkaline Phosphatase. ALP is a group of enzymes produced in the bile duct, intestine, kidneys, placenta and bones. The bile ducts can get blocked if this enzyme is found to be raised.
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase. It is similar to ALT but less specific for liver disease.
Bilirubin – Bilirubin is produced by the breakdown of red blood cells in the body.When bilirubin is high, there is yellow pigmentation of the skin.
Albumin – Albumin is a protein produced only by liver cells. It measures the main proteins made by the liver and helps to gauge the nutritional status.
GGT– Gamma Glutamyl Transferase – a blood tests is useful for detecting this enzyme to traceproblems in the bile duct. GGT is very sensitive and rises when there is any indication of liver disease. GGT levels can fluctuate with the intake of different drugs, including alcohol.