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Liver Function - Blood Test - In-Store only

Liver Function - Blood Test - In-Store only


A group of tests to evaluate the functioning of liver by measuring levels of proteins, enzymes and waste products in the blood.

  • Why we test

    A liver function test is often recommended in the following situations:

    • to check for damage from liver infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C, especially if it’s suspected you were exposed to a virus that causes hepatitis
    • to monitor the side effects of certain medications because some medications are known to affect the liver, including:
      • NSAIDsTrusted Source
      • statins
      • antibiotics
      • antiseizure medications
      • tuberculosis drugs
    • if you already have liver disease, to monitor the disease and how well a particular treatment is working
    • if you’re experiencing the symptoms of a liver disorder or have a family history of a liver disease, such as fatty liver disease
    • if you have certain medical conditions, such as:
      • high triglycerides
      • diabetes
      • high blood pressure
      • anemia
    • if you drink alcohol frequently
    • if you have gallbladder disease

    Certain tests can reflect different aspects of liver function. For example, elevated alanine transaminaseTrusted Source and aspartate transaminase disproportional to bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase levels often indicates liver disease.

    What are the different types of liver function tests?

    Liver function tests are used to measure specific enzymes and proteins in your blood.

    Having atypical results on any of these liver tests usually requires a follow-up to determine the cause of the atypical characteristics. Even mildly elevated results can be associated with liver disease.

    Common liver function tests include:

    Alanine transaminase (ALT) test

    Alanine transaminase (ALT) is used by your body to metabolize protein. If the liver is damaged or not functioning properly, ALT can be released into the blood. This causes ALT levels to increase. A higher result than what’s typical on this test can be a sign of liver damage.

    It’s estimated that about 10 percent of people in the United States have elevated ALT levels.

    Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test

    Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) is an enzyme found in several parts of your body, including your:

    • heart
    • brain
    • pancreas
    • liver
    • muscles

    When the liver is damaged, AST can be released into the bloodstream. A high result on an AST test might indicate a problem with the liver or muscles.

    Since AST levels aren’t as specific of a marker for liver damage as ALT, it’s usually measured together with ALT to check for liver problems. For example, a high AST:ALT ratio may indicate alcoholic liver diseaseTrusted Source.

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) test

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is an enzyme found in your bones, bile ducts, and liver. An ALP test is typically ordered in combination with several other tests. An ALP test can be used to evaluate the bile duct system of the liver.

    Albumin test

    Albumin is the main protein made by your liver. It performs many important bodily functions.

    For example, albumin nourishes your tissues and transports hormones, vitamins, and other substances throughout your body. An albumin test measures how well your liver is making this particular protein.

    Bilirubin test

    Bilirubin is a waste product from the breakdown of red blood cells. It’s ordinarily processed by the liver. It passes through the liver before being excreted through your stool.

    A damaged liver can’t properly process bilirubin. This leads to an atypically high level of bilirubin in the blood. Certain inherited diseases can raise bilirubin levels, even when liver function works as expected.

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