Role of liver function tests
Dec 22, 2001
What is the role of Liver Function Tests in diagnosing liver disease?
Response from Dr. Fried
The term "liver function tests" generally refer to a group of blood tests that can indicate whether the liver is inflammed or performing the jobs it is supposed to do. These tests include ALT, AST, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, and sometimes, prothrombin time. In hepatitis, ALT and AST are elevated indicating inflammation of the liver. In advanced cases, levels of albumin, a protein made by the liver, is low and the prothrombin time, a measure of blood clotting proteins, is prolonged indicating that the liver is struggling to do its job.
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