Liver function tests (LFTs) are a group of tests performed on a single blood sample to find out how well your liver is working. The test measures the levels of a number of proteins and enzymes that are either produced by liver cells or released into the blood when liver cells are damaged. The liver is a large organ in the upper right of the abdomen that is necessary for many different functions. For example, it processes drugs and alcohol, filters toxic chemicals, stores vitamins and minerals, and makes bile, proteins and enzymes.
Liver function tests measures the levels of different enzymes and proteins excreted by your liver, such as:
- alanine aminotransferase (ALT) – an enzyme in your liver
- alkaline phosphatase (ALP) – an enzyme in your liver
- aspartate aminotransferase (AST) – an enzyme in your liver
- gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) – an enzyme in your liver
- bilirubin – a breakdown product of red blood cells that is excreted by your liver
- albumin – the main type of protein that your liver makes
- total protein – the total amount of different proteins in your body.
Video: What your Liver Function Test results can show
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(Lab Tests Online, Australia, 2018)