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liver function tests

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Gallbladder and liver

Alternative Names 

There are a number of ways to test liver function. Each test has its own name, as listed in the section below.

Who is a candidate for the test? 
Liver function tests are ordered to see if the person's liver is healthy and functioning properly.

How is the test performed? 
For the specific way in which each liver test is performed, refer to one of the following tests:
  • albumin, a protein synthesised by the liver
  • ALP, an enzyme found in the liver, bones and placenta
  • ALT, an enzyme found primarily in liver cells
  • AST, an enzyme found in the liver as well as many other body organs
  • serum bilirubin, a waste product formed by the breakdown of red blood cells
  • urine bilirubin
  • GGT, an enzyme present in the liver, pancreas and kidney
  • LDH, an enzyme found in the liver
  • PT or prothrombin time, which tests the blood's ability to clot
  • total cholesterol, a substance stored in the liver
  • total protein, a nutrient normally broken down by the liver and its enzymes
What is involved in preparation for the test? 
Specific instructions should be requested from the doctor.

What do the test results mean? 
See the results given for each individual test of liver function.

Author: David T. Moran, MD
Reviewer: eknowhow Medical Review Panel
Editor: Dr John Hearne
Last Updated: 6/06/2005
Potential conflict of interest information for reviewers available on request

This website and article is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice and it is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes or as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.  All Health and any associated parties do not accept any liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of or reliance on the information.


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