To understand the liver functions and gauge how well it is working, certain tests are performed that are medically termed as “Common liver function tests”. These are nothing but blood tests that check the functioning of the liver, its condition and also the overall biliary system. They also detect damage or inflammation if any.
Recently, doctors recommend these tests to be done once you cross the age of 35 years and facing any kind of digestive troubles. As these tests ably guide the physician to get a thorough physical examination of the liver and helps in the management of a host of liver diseases; most of the medical institutions have started doing these on patients. Here is a list of commonly performed blood tests that are also known as “common liver function tests” –
The level of alkaline phosphatase in the blood is measured with the help of this test. Alkaline phosphatise is an enzyme that is found in many tissues, and the maximum concentrations are found at the biliary tract, liver, and bone. To assess liver functions and lesions in the liver, this test is considered as the best one. It also checks any biliary obstruction like abscesses or tumors.
Serum Albumin Test
Serum Albumin test measures the level of albumin, which is a protein found in the blood and is considered as useful in diagnosing the problems of liver.
Serum Bilirubin Test
To measure the levels of bilirubin in the blood, serum bilirubin test is used. Produced by the liver, bilirubin is excreted in the bile and high levelsof bilirubin indicates restricted bile flow or a problem in the liver.
Prothrombin Time (PT) Test
This test measures the duration of blood clotting. Vitamin K in blood is essential for the blood clotting requires and this vitamin is produced by the liver. If blood clotting takes too much time, it indicates some kind of liver disease or other associated deficiencies.
Aspartate Transaminase (AST) Test
Aspartate transaminase is an enzyme that is found in kidneys, pancreas, heart, liver, RBC and skeletal muscle. This test measures the level of this enzyme that gets released in the bloodstream if you are suffering from any liver or heart problems. Thus, the presence of this enzyme in blood will indicate acute liver cell damage.
Alanine Transaminase (ALT) Test
One of the main enzymes of the liver is alanine aminotransferase. This test is meant to measure the level of alanine aminotransferase in the bloodstream that occurs after severe liver cell damage. This test also indicates any problem in liver function, and liver diseases, such as hepatitis.
There are some more common tests for liver function like lactic dehydrogenase test to detect liver tissue damage, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase test is to read the level of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase enzyme in the liver, serum alpha-1 antitrypsin test helps to figure out if any form of emphysema or liver cirrhosis is present, alpha-fetoprotein test helps to detect the presence of hepatomas or liver cancer, presence of antibodies in the biliary system can be detected by mitochondrial antibodies test.