What is LFT?
Liver function tests (LFT) help to identify the problems in your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, or bilirubin within blood. LFT highly recommended for the health problems situations , such as:
- Used as screening test for liver infections, like hepatitis C
- Monitors the side effects of certain medications, which may affect your liver
- Helps to identify the liver disorders and how well a particular treatment is working or not
- Measures effectively the degree of scarring, or cirrhosis on the liver
- Helps to diagnose a liver disorder, when you are experiencing the symptoms
- When you are planning of getting pregnancy
Series of tests performed to diagnose various liver disorders, but most of them don’t measure the overall function of the liver. The most common LFT tests ordered to check liver function are the alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), albumin, and bilirubin tests. The ALT and AST tests measures enzymes released by liver in response to damage or any disorder. Albumin and bilirubin tests used in the case of, how well the liver creates albumin, a protein, and how well it can dispose of bilirubin, a waste product of the blood.
List of common LFT tests
LFT performed to measure particular enzymes and proteins in blood. In general, it depending upon the test, either lower or higher, or than normal levels of these enzymes or proteins, which is helpful to identify a specific problem with your liver. List of most common tests are:
- Alanine Transaminase (ALT) Test
- Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) Test
- Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) Test
- Albumin Test
- Bilirubin Test
Alanine Transaminase (ALT) Test
In general, ALT to metabolize protein by your body. ALT released into your blood, when liver is not functioning properly or damaged. In a result, it increases ALT level in your blood, but high result is the sign of damage in the liver.
Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) Test
AST is an enzyme found widely in several parts of your body, such as heart, liver, and muscles. AST measured together with ALT to check for liver problems, because its level isn’t specific for liver damage. Doctor will use ALT/ AST ratio in diagnosis of liver disorders, when liver damaged and AST released into your bloodstream. The high test result indicates a problem with the liver or muscles.
Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) Test
ALP is an enzyme found in some specific regions in your body, such as bones, bile ducts, and liver. The test performed to indicate ALP level. High level of ALP indicates damage in the liver, blockage of the bile ducts, or a bone disease in your body.
Albumin is a protein, which performs several important liver functions, such as
- Helps to stop leaking of fluid from your blood vessels
- Maintains the liver tissues
- Helps in transportation of vital components, like hormones, vitamins, and other substances throughout your body
In general, this test performed, if your liver is properly producing albumin protein, or not. Low albumin level indicates that your liver is not working properly.
Bilirubin is a type of waste product, which is ordinarily processed by your liver. In general, breakdown of red blood cells produces this waste product. An unhealthy liver can’t process this waste product. So bilirubin level increases highly in your blood, which indicates that your liver isn’t work properly.