What do you mean by high liver function test?

May 10, 2010

Liver function tests or LFTS and LFs as they are referred to along with liver enzymes constitute groups of tests used to determine the state of liver function in a patient. Liver function tests are particularly useful as a screening tool and can be a great benefit when looking for any hepatitis dysfunction. It does go without saying however, that the liver is a vital organ that performs various functions making a single test inadequate for the effective and detailed analysis of liver function. For this reason, in most cases, a combination of tests or successive testing may be necessary to estimate liver function.

High liver function test results could be indicative of liver disease, and this could hold true even in the case of absence of any symptoms of liver disease, as very often liver diseases do not show any marked symptoms particularly in the early stages. The causes of high liver function test results could include a variety of factors from personal habits like alcohol consumption and smoking or dietary factors, to viral infections and disorders of the immune system.

Some other possible causes of high liver function test results include the following:

  • Obesity puts severe stress on the liver because of the increased blood volume and this can cause an elevation of liver function.
  • Certain medications including common ones like aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as antibiotics, cholesterol lowering drugs and seizure medications can cause elevation of liver function.
  • Alcohol consumption as mentioned earlier can be a major cause for elevated liver function levels, particularly if you have been consuming significant amounts of alcohol, for over a prolonged time period.
  • Autoimmune disease refers to diseases in which the immune system instead of acting against invading infections or foreign bodies turns on healthy cells or organs. In some cases certain autoimmune diseases like autoimmune hepatitis and primary biliary cirrhosis could cause the immune system to launch attacks on the liver or bile ducts.
  • Wilson's disease and hemochromatosis are some examples of metabolic liver disease that can cause high liver function test results. These conditions are a major cause for concern and need to be treated promptly as they can even cause liver failure if neglected.
  • Viral hepatitis, in the case of acute or chronic infections, can also cause elevated levels of liver function.
  • In the event of development of tumors in the pancreas, bile ducts or the liver too there would be elevated liver functions and there is also a risk of fatality, which is why such a condition needs urgent medical attention.

Submitted by M T on May 10, 2010 at 01:36

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