The liver is a complex and vitally important organ in the human body. A normally functioning liver is essential for the general health of a person. The liver is responsible for many major functions such as protein synthesis, removal of toxins from the body, digestive functions including bile production, metabolism management and so on. The liver structure is extremely complicated with functions often overlapping various areas of the liver. It is for this reason that an artificial organ has not yet been developed to replace the liver for patients who are suffering from liver failure. No individual can live without a functioning liver. The complicated nature of the liver also makes it impossible to judge liver function based on one single test or the quantity of one single substance in the body. The liver produces many different components that are vital for body function and measuring these is used to give an idea of the liver's health. A proper liver function test is therefore consists of series of tests conducted on a sample of blood that is drawn from a patient's upper forearm.
The liver function test covers several different substances that are found in the blood. These include Bilirubin, Alanine aminotransferase, Total Protein, Aspartate aminotransferase, Albumin, and Alkaline Phosphatase. Each of these components has a typical range in which it falls. The quantity of these components will be mentioned in the test report. These quantities are usually mentioned in the form of a ratio that is the quantity of the component as a ratio of a unit of blood. When you read your test results, they will be mentioned with a reference range beside them. The reference range may differ between sexes and between adults and children. More information on liver function test results
Any variation is likely to be marked in a different color to the rest of the test results. This variation should be discussed with your doctor. Some slight variations may occur due to a current illness or the level of a particular component may be just slightly high or low. All these should be interpreted by a doctor. Conditions like cirrhosis or jaundice will cause variations in the reading. Any condition that is affecting the liver may be diagnosed after the test is complete based on the particular item that is affected. Different parts of the liver control different liver functions and such a test is vital to understanding exactly what is wrong with your liver.
Submitted by N on May 27, 2010 at 05:23