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 Liver function tests

When blood tests are performed, they are done by way of a syringe for the purpose of removing an adequate amount of blood from a person's vein in the arm. The person should not fear this, even if he/she has issues with syringes and taking of the blood, since any pain but the tiny prick is felt. The sample in question is either taken by a general practitioner or by a designated nurse at a clinic a person decides to visit for the testing to be performed. Once this initial phase has been successfully completed, the blood sample that has been taken is shipped off to a laboratory for further testing, analysis and acquiring of the needed results.

Given the fact that the entire testing procedure is done in specific phases, it is important even for the person undergoing it to be well acquainted with each and every one of them separately. Those most important constituent phases include the following:

  1. Alanine aminotransferase
  2. Aspartarte aminotransferase
  3. Alkaline phosphatase
  4. Gamma glutamyl transferase
  5. Bilirubin
  6. Albumin
  7. Clotting studies, also known as the prothrombin time, i.e. the internationa normalised ration

Each and every of the aforementioned sections is characterized by results embodied in specific numbers and values. When it comes to the role of a laboratory in the entire process, it must be pointed out that it serves as a provider of normal values, i.e. reference values that make it possible for the doctor in question, a nurse, or a designated specialist to determine whether or not the person's test is within the range regarded as normal, or not. Those functions that are out of the ordinary are shown by how much they are below, i.e. above the range regarded as the normal, i.e. the regular one.

In the greatest majority of cases, it is the test performed to determine the condition of the liver and its functioning that provides an indicator of the extent to which the person's liver is inflamed, damaged or has suffered substantial loses with regards to its overall functioning.

The test in question is performed and results reached by previously measuring the following factors – the levels of ALT and AST, which are known to be the indicators of the severity of inflammation present at a specific moment; levels of alkaline phosphatase, since the increase (as well as of the enzyme called Gamma GT) is known as the first indicator of cholestatic liver disease; bilirubin levels, as well as the levels of albumin, and clotting studies. 

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