The liver is a complicated organ that performs a multitude of varied tasks, most of which are essential for the basic requirement of maintaining and individual's life. The liver is thus a critical organ without which an individual cannot live. The liver is responsible for several vital functions that include protein synthesis, toxin removal, bile production and the storage of glycogen. Digestion takes place in the stomach and intestinal system aided by the bile released from the liver. The nutrients of the digested food are absorbed into the bloodstream of an individual. This blood is then transported to the liver where it is filtered for toxins and other substances. The filtered blood is then transported across the body where it nourishes the body and provides oxygen and nutrition to all the cells of the body. See also liver function tests
A liver test refers to any test that is used to analyze the liver and its functions. A liver panel test is a test that uses blood drawn from a vein in the upper forearm of a patient for analysis. This blood is tested in a laboratory for the presence of various different components that are all related to the liver and its functioning. Some components are supposed to be present in a high concentration whereas others tend to be present in a low concentration, their elevation only occurring as a result of liver damage or liver disease. More on liver tests
Another important type of liver test is an imaging test used to visually analyze the liver. Generally an ultrasound or CT test would be used to check the liver for any obvious signs of damage. Liver damage or cirrhosis occurs as a result of liver disease, toxin ingestion or continuous alcohol abuse.
A liver test with abnormal results could be caused by any one of the conditions mentioned below. The liver may be affected by diseases such as viral hepatitis and infectious mononucleosis. These diseases are generally curable if they are detected early enough. Liver damage occurring as a result of these diseases could also be reversed to a certain extent, once the patient's health has been restored. Liver cirrhosis may cause abnormal liver test results. Cirrhosis is the condition where there is a visible damage to the liver caused either by a prolonged illness or by other conditions such as alcohol abuse or toxin ingestion. Finally, abnormal liver test results may also be caused by certain medication. It is therefore essential to stop all medication that may affect a liver test before the test is conducted. Consultation with the doctor however is very essential.More articles from the Liver Tests Category