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Liver Function Tests (LFT’s)

Liver function tests help determine the health of your liver by measuring the levels of proteins, liver enzymes, and bilirubin in your blood.

Also Known as :  Liver ProfileLiver Function TestsLFTs, Liver Panel, liver chemistries


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Test Panel: Total Bilirubin, Conjagated Bilirubin, Unconjugated Bilirubin, ALT, AST, ALP, Total Protein, Albumin, Globulin, A/G ratio, GGT,

Liver Function Tests

Why get Tested :

A liver function test is often recommended in the following situations:

  • LFT diagnose any kind of liver disease.
  • to check for damage from liver infections, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  • LFT has done for follow up of the patient on treatment.
  • LFT is done in routine in patients on chemotherapy.
  • LFT may be advised in a patient with treatment on antituberculous treatment.

When to Get Tested :

Sample Required :

  1. It is done on the serum of the patient.
  2. Heparinized plasma can be used.
  3. A random sample can be taken.
  4. The serum is stable for 3 days at 1 to 6 °C.

Precautions for Sample :

  1. Avoid hemolysis.
  2. For bilirubin, fasting sample is preferred.
  3. Protect serum or plasma from the light.
  4. Lipemia also falsely increased the value.

When LFTs Orderd :

A liver panel, or one or more of its components, may be ordered when someone is at risk for liver dysfunction. Some examples include:

  • People who take medications that may potentially damage the liver
  • Those who are alcoholics or heavy drinkers
  • Those who have a history of known or possible exposure to hepatitis viruses
  • Individuals whose families have a history of liver disease
  • People who are overweight, especially if they have diabetes and/or high blood pressure

A liver panel may be ordered when a person has signs and symptoms of liver disease; however, most people who have liver disease do not have any of these symptoms until the disease has been present for many years or is very severe. Some of these include:

  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling and/or pain
  • Jaundice (yellowing of eyes or skin)
  • Dark urine, light-colored stool
  • Itching (pruritus)
  • Diarrhea

Usually no one single set of liver tests is used to make a diagnosis. Often, several liver panels will be ordered over a few days or weeks to help determine the cause of the liver disorder and evaluate its severity

What is Being Tested :

Theses tests are tested in Liver Function Tests (LFT’s) :

  1. Total Bilirubin
  2. Conjugated Bilirumin
  3. Unconjugated Bilirubin
  4. ALT (SGPT)
  5. AST (SGOT)
  6. Alkaline Phasphatase
  7. Total Protein (TP)
  8. Albumin
  9. Globuline
  10. A/G Ratio
  11. Gamma GT (GGT)

Normal Values

TestNormal value
Total bilirubino.3 to 1.0 mg/dL
Newborn : 1.0 to 12.0 mg/dL.
Conjugated bilirubin0.1 to 0.3 mg/dL
Unconjugated bilirubin0.1 to 0.8 mg/dL
Alkaline phosphataseAdult = 30 to 120 units/L
Child <2 years = 85 to 235 units/L
2 to 8 years = 65 to 210 units/L
9 to 15 years = 60 to 300 units/L
16 to 21 years = 30 to 200 units/L
SGOT  (AST)Adult = 0 to 35 units
Elderly = values slightly higher than adult
Newborn and infants = 15 to 60 units/L
SGPT (ALT)Adult and child = 4 to 40 units/L
Infants may be twice high as the adult value
 AlbuminAdult = 3.5 to 5 g/dL
Premature infants = 3 to 4.2 g/dL
Newborn = 3.5 to 5.5 g/dL
Infant = 4.4 to 5.4 g/dLChild = 4 to 5.9 g/dL 
Total protein6.4 to 8.3 g/dL
 A/G ratio  0.8 to 2.0
Gamma-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT).Adult >45 years = 8 to 38 units/L
Female <45 years = 5 to 27 units/L
Child like adult level
Newborn = 5 times higher than adult level

What does the test result mean?

Type of liver condition or diseaseBilirubinALT and ASTALPAlbuminPT
Acute liver damage (due, for example, to infection, toxins or drugs, etc.)Normal or increased usually after ALT and AST are already increasedUsually greatly increased (> 10 times); ALT is usually higher than ASTNormal or only moderately increasedNormalUsually normal
Chronic forms of various liver disordersNormal or increasedMildly or moderately increased; ALT is persistently increasedNormal to slightly increasedNormalNormal
Alcoholic HepatitisNormal or increasedAST is moderately increased, usually at least twice the level of ALTNormal or moderately increasedNormalNormal
CirrhosisMay be increased but this usually occurs later in the diseaseAST is usually higher than ALT but levels are usually lower than in alcoholic diseaseNormal or increasedNormal or decreasedUsually prolonged
Bile duct obstruction, cholestasisNormal or increased; increased in complete obstructionNormal to moderately increasedIncreased; often greater than 4 times what is normalUsually normal but if the disease is chronic, levels may decreaseUsually normal
Cancer that has spread to the liver (metastasized)Usually normalNormal or slightly increasedUsually greatly increasedNormalNormal
Cancer originating in the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC)May be increased, especially if the disease has progressedAST higher than ALT but levels lower than that seen in alcoholic diseaseNormal or increasedNormal or decreasedUsually prolonged
AutoimmuneNormal or increasedModerately increased; ALT usually higher than ASTNormal or slightly increasedUsually decreasedNormal

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