Liver Disease & Test

According to statistics, liver illness is on the rise. Liver disease affects one in every four, ranging from babies to the elderly.

About Liver Disease & Test

Liver function tests, often known as liver chemistries, measure the amounts of proteins, liver enzymes, and bilirubin in your blood to assist evaluate the health of your liver. They can also follow the progression or treatment of an existing condition.


According to statistics, liver illness is on the rise. Liver disease affects one in every four, ranging from babies to the elderly.

Depending on the test, greater or lower-than-normal levels of these enzymes or proteins might suggest liver disease.

Liver function tests may be conducted for a variety of purposes, including screening for disorders such as hepatitis, monitoring the adverse effects of your medications, and determining the degree of liver disease.

Liver Disease

What exactly are liver function tests?

Liver function tests (also known as liver panels) are blood tests that evaluate the amount of several enzymes, proteins, and other chemicals produced by the liver. These tests assess your liver’s overall health. The various chemicals are frequently evaluated simultaneously on a single blood sample.

Which are the most common liver function tests?

The levels of various enzymes and proteins in your blood are measured by liver function tests. Levels that are greater or lower than usual might suggest an issue with the liver. The following are some examples of frequent liver function tests:

Alanine transaminase enzyme (ALT): ALT is a liver enzyme that aids in the conversion of proteins into energy for the liver cells. When the liver is injured, ALT is released into circulation, where it accumulates.

Transaminase of aspartate (AST): AST is an enzyme that aids in the metabolism of amino acids. AST, like ALT, is generally present in low amounts in the blood. A rise in AST values might suggest liver damage, illness, or muscle injury.

Phosphatase alkaline (ALP): ALP is an enzyme present in the liver and bone that aids in the breakdown of proteins. ALP levels that are higher than usual may suggest liver injury or diseases, such as a blocked bile duct or certain bone disorders.

Total protein and albumin: Albumin is one of the proteins produced by the liver. These proteins are required by your body to fight infections and conduct other activities. Lower-than-normal albumin and total protein levels may indicate liver damage or sickness.

Bilirubin: Bilirubin is a chemical that is created naturally during the breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin is excreted in the feces after passing through the liver. Elevated bilirubin levels (jaundice) may suggest liver injury or illness, or some kind of anemia.

Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT): GGT is a kind of enzyme found in the blood. Increased levels may suggest liver or bile duct disease.

The enzyme L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD): The enzyme LD is present in the liver. Increased levels may suggest liver disease, but they can also be elevated in a variety of other conditions.

Prothrombin interval (PT): The time it takes for your blood to clot is measured in minutes. Increased PT may suggest liver disease, but it can also be caused by blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.

What do they serve?

Most commonly, liver function tests are used to:

  • Aid in the diagnosis of liver illnesses such as hepatitis.
  • Keep an eye on the therapy for liver illness. These tests can reveal how effective the therapy is.
  • Examine the extent to which a liver has been damaged or scarred by illness, such as cirrhosis.
  • Keep an eye out for the side effects of some drugs.

Additional Tests

Alpha-fetoprotein screening: Fetal tissue and cancers both produce alpha-fetoprotein (a particular blood protein). This test may be used to predict the risk of developing primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). It is also used to assess the efficacy of treatment in specific malignancies, such as hepatomas (a type of liver cancer).

Mitochondrial antibodies test: The presence of these antibodies can be indicative of primary biliary cirrhosis, chronic active hepatitis, and other autoimmune illnesses.

Alpha-1 antitrypsin test in serum (A1AT): This test detects alpha-1 antitrypsin levels in the blood. This test is used to detect an uncommon form of emphysema in adults as well as a rare form of liver disease (cirrhosis) in children and adults.

Why do I require a liver function test?

If you experience signs of liver illness, you may require liver function tests. These are some examples:

  • Jaundice is a disorder in which your skin and eyes turn yellow.
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Dark urine
  • Stool in a light color
  • Fatigue

These tests may also be required if you have specific risk factors. You are more likely to get the liver disease if you:

  • Have a history of liver illness in your family.
  • Have an alcohol use disorder, which is characterized by problems managing how much you drink.
  • Consider yourself to have been exposed to a hepatitis virus.
  • Take medications that may harm your liver.

What exactly occurs during a liver function test?

A tiny needle will be used by a healthcare expert to draw blood from a vein in your arm. Following needle insertion, a little amount of blood is collected in a test tube or vial. You may feel a small sting whenever the needle is inserted or removed. This normally takes five minutes.

Is there anything more I need to do to prepare for the Test?

Before the test, you may need to fast (not eat or drink) for 10-12 hours

Is there any danger in the test?

Having a blood test poses relatively little danger. You may have little discomfort or bruise where the needle was inserted.