Liver Panel tests usually include:
ALT - (alanine aminotransferase) is an enzyme produced in liver cells (hepatocytes). ALT levels may increase with liver inflammation or damage. Elevated ALT may result from high amounts of fat in the liver, some drugs/medications, alcohol, hepatitis viruses, and other liver diseases.
AST - (aspartate aminotransferase) is an enzyme found in many tissues. AST levels may be elevated when there is inflammation in the liver or another organ.
AP - (alkaline phosphatase) is an enzyme that may be elevated with many types of liver disease. An elevation in this enzyme can suggest bile duct problems. AP may be elevated in other diseases, like some bone disorders.
GT - (gamma glutamyl transpeptidase) is an enzyme often elevated in those with liver disease, including fatty liver disease. It is also elevated in people who frequently use alcohol, are exposed to toxic substances, or frequently consume large amounts of Aspartame (an artificial sweetener).
Albumin - is a protein made by the liver. Low levels of albumin in the blood could indicate that the liver is not functioning properly. The serum albumin concentration is usually normal until significant liver damage is present.
PT - time , prothrombin time (clotting studies)- Prothrombin time is how long it takes blood to clot. The liver produces many of the factors needed for blood clotting and if the prothombin time increases, it may indicate liver damage. Many drugs and medicines can effect PT time.
Bilirubin is a yellow pigment released when red blood cells break down. Some liver diseases can cause elevated bilirubin. Other medical conditions can lead to elevated bilirubin.
Platelet count - Platelets are small blood cells that help blood clot. Sometimes the number of platelets drop, indicating liver damage.
If the test results fall out of the expected range, providers may repeat the tests to see if levels have improved. If liver damage is suspected, they will likely order even more tests, including tests for hepatitis viruses, a liver ultrasound, and perhaps a liver biopsy. If you have hepatitis, doctors will follow these and other lab tests closely. We have not listed ‘normal’ ranges because each laboratory uses different ‘normal’ indicators and providers have different interpretations of ‘normal’ levels. If is best to discuss laboratory results with a healthcare provider.
We recommend that you keep copies of your lab results so you can monitor your liver functions!
Laboratories provide the blood test results with ‘reference’ or ‘normal’ levels. You will see that ‘reference’ values differ for men and women and may change with age. Some medications, foods, alcohol, and chemical exposures can influence the results. For these reasons, doctors sometimes recommend repeating the tests.