Liver Function Test

The liver is the body's largest organ, next only to the skin. The liver has several vital functions to perform. It stores energy from the food, processes it, and even synthesizes several other products and by-products later utilized by the body. 

However, under the influence of several factors, the liver might not perform its functions as efficiently as it usually does. Its functions could get compromised and result in the person developing varying symptoms of different intensities. 

Therefore, to judge whether a person's liver is functioning efficiently or if it is functioning at reduced capacity, liver function tests are ordered. These tests involve taking a blood sample from your arm and analyzing it for the following parameters:

  • Alanine transaminase (ALT)
  • Aspartate transaminase (AST)
  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP)
  • Albumin and total protein 
  • Bilirubin
  • Prothrombin time 
  • L-lactate dehydrogenase 
  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) 

Depending on the abnormality of these tests, a person is advised for the appropriate treatment.

Common conditions covered by a Liver Function Test

Hepatitis C, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Alcoholic hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP)

Liver Function Test At Home and Online

FAQs on Liver Function Test

What are liver function tests?

LFTs are a set of liver protein tests for checking for abnormal liver function. These tests involve albumin levels and total protein levels in the blood. ALP (alkaline phosphatase), ALT (alanine transaminase), AST (aspartate aminotransferase), LDH, and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT).

What is the purpose of a liver function test?

A liver panel is essential for detecting chronic or acute types of hepatitis. These are also for monitoring therapy of liver diseases to show if treatment is effective, checking cirrhosis, drug toxicity and side effects of certain medicines.

Why do I need liver function testing?

If you are undergoing long-term therapy for chronic disease or acute hepatic infection or have experienced jaundice, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, dark-coloured urine, pale stool, or fatigue, then LFTs are important.

What happens during a liver function test?

A blood sample is withdrawn from your vein, stored in a tube, and then further sent for analysis.

What do the results mean?

The results either report elevation or demotion of enzymes/proteins in the liver. The doctor must carefully differentially diagnose your condition according to enzyme levels and aid in drug therapy selection.